Statistically younger people are driving fewer miles and more are opting to go without owning a car altogether, preferring instead to rent closer to where they work. Ditching your car is a wise financial move; according to Consumer Reports it’s a change that will save you thousands in the long haul.
Those of us stuck behind the wheel find the driving world to be an increasingly random place. When accidents do happen it’s often your word against the other driver. In light of the ever-escalating consequences of a traffic ticket or accident on your record, it may be time to consider getting a dash cam. They are inexpensive, convenient and having the proof of what happened can save you from a costly lawsuit or traffic citation.
The smart phone applications give you more functionality than most attachable dash cams, although your phone won’t be as available for other uses. Dashboard Cam will record video plus GPS data with map overlays that include your speed.
Pictured above, this unit settled a recent dispute with my insurance company that insisted that I must have run over some obstruction to make one of my truck tires explode. The dash cam footage showed clearly that the road was unobstructed and that I wasn’t speeding or doing anything dangerous. The G sensor triggers the unit to start taking pictures or video if someone hits your car in the parking lot or when you jam on the brakes.
The unit is nearly impossible to see from outside your vehicle, so you don’t have to tell anyone you have it until you need the footage. The video quality is not great but adequate.
The one thing to watch with this unit is the Reset All menu option, which returns the camera menus to Chinese. If you don’t happen to read Mandarin that’s a bit inconvenient.
The only downside to this black box style unit is it lacks a built-in screen in case you ever needed to prove your innocence on the spot. Otherwise it has some compelling features including map overlays, speed data, and data save when the G sensor detects impact or sudden braking.
Sporting a 150 degree wide angle lens that can be turned in any direction, this unobtrusive dash cam records 720p video at 30 fps from a 2-megapixel CMOS sensor. Some reviewers report issues if the unit gets overheated but otherwise a very functional dash cam.
Another unobtrusive little dash cam that also features event recording triggered by the G sensor with the added advantage of being able to playback the video or watch it live on a number of external devices via a dedicated app.
As the consequences of traffic citations and insurance claims increase, being able to show conclusively exactly what happened in an accident becomes more important. Spending a couple hundred dollars on a dash cam is cheap insurance.