Take a look at this recent footage taken from the rear dash cam of a Dallas driver:
Dash cams vary in size and style, but they are basically a camera designed to connect to your car’s dashboard and record events while driving. Some cameras are voice activated while others are operated by pushing one simple button. These cameras offer convenience and peace of mind to vehicle operators when they are driving because they remain ready to capture the unexpected, such as accidents. The use of dash cams can provide protection to drivers by recording details of what occurred at any given time.
The Use of Dash Cams Has Hugely Increased In Recent Years
These cameras have grown in popularity and are used by civilian drivers, bus drivers, driving instructors and police officers because they become a witness to the traffic surrounding the vehicle that you are operating. How popular have they become? The market for these cameras was valued at over USD 1910 million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD5117 million by 2025.
Dashboard cameras have come a long way since they were initially installed on police vehicles in the latter part of the 80s. Back then, these cameras were analog cameras without memory cards, recorded on VHS tapes. These devices transformed substantially during the 1990s when everyday people started to install them to record whatever occurred while they were driving. Many advances in technology have meant major improvements to these devices including a lower price point for a higher quality of technology.
People are choosing to install these devices on their vehicles because they provide comfort that they will be protected against many events. Some of these cameras provide early warnings for imminent dangers on the road. According toTX,the use of these cameras can provide valuable footage to insurance companies,especially after an not-at-fault accident. Some other known benefits of a dash cam installation include:
– Anti theft – a would be car thief sees a dash camera and decides not to steal a car because they would be recorded and possibly identified;
– In the event of an accident, the camera would record the footage and prove which driver caused the incident.
– A dual camera, or one that records both the driver and the road ahead, can provide that the driver is not using their cell phone if they are pulled over for such an offense.
– In the case of improper police behavior, a driver can prove that they were not speeding or doing anything else illegal if they are improperly pulled over.
– The footage can provide valuable evidence of a hit and run to help track down the vehicle that caused the damage and left the scene.
– Companies use these cameras to provide valuable information as to the behavior of their drivers including proving their location at a certain time.
– Some cameras offer information such as the location of speed and red light cameras which can alert a driver to slow down.
1. Garmin Dash Cam 66W
We tried this one personally atWard Maedgen Accident Attorneys
This compact camera has been improved with a winder view angle. The video quality is 1440p with HDR (high dynamic range) of 60 FPS (frames per second). The viewing angle is 180 degrees and the unit can be integrated with GPS. The screen is LCD,320 x 240 and 2 inches.
PROS: This unit is easy to use
CONS: Battery life of 30 minutes, more expensive than other units of comparable quality.
Top Review Found:
A reviewer on Bestbuy.com had the following to say:
“I was very impressed with the ease of installation for the Garmin 66W Dashcam. The picture quality is excellent and the user interfaces, both on the Dashcam and the app, are very intuitive. The video is true 180-degree left to right and vertical video is sufficient to catch traffic lights, etc until almost under the light. Note that a memory card does NOT come with the Dashcam and must be purchased separately for the Dashcam to work. I got the largest that would fit,512GB. I am happy with the ease of viewing videos via the Dashcam or the app. File transfer via the app to my iPhone was very lengthy. I won’t say it was slow due to file size; it just took a long time. I have not removed the memory card for file transfer on my desktop but would be a computer limitation anyway â not related to the Dashcam. My installation is very clean in my 2016 F-150. An adapter cable for the rear view mirror added a USB connection usable for the Dashcam. Works great, automatic power-on with ignition,and no wires in the way or routed to power outlet. Overall,I am very happy with the Garmin 66W Dashcam and would recommend it to anybody.”Found at:https://www.bestbuy.com/site/reviews/garmin-dash-cam-66w/6351245
2. Garmin Dash Cam Mini
This mini dash cam comes at a good price with a video quality of 1080p at 30fps. There is a viewing angle of 140 degrees but no integrated GPS and no screen. The unit measures 3.1 x 5.3 x 2.9 cm or the size of a small car key. It fits in behind the mirror on your windshield and is plugged into your lighter socket or can be hardwired to the fuse box in your car and boots up on ignition or if a collision is detected.
Pros: small size, great price
Cons: no display screen and no battery; need a phone app to download footage from the camera when it is needed.
A reviewer on the gadgeteer said he liked that the camera was small, easy to install and didn’t provide distractions with the constant display. He said he would change it with a small micro SD card, fix the video splice glitch issue and improve the WiFi export speed for files. Found here:
3. The Thinkware U1000
This 4K dash cam “does it all”. It has 4K Ultra HD video quality, a viewing angle of 150 degrees and an integrated GPS. There is no screen.
Pros: the 4K video is very clear and the camera has many features. There is a front and rear camera option.
Cons: the camera needs to be hardwired, there is no built-in screen and it must be hardwired. The 4K video files can be really large.
One reviewer liked the fact that it was a good quality camera with an included rear camera. He liked the option that it could be run from the cigarette plug or be hardwired in. He stated that the product was easy to install and use. He didn’t like that the product was expensive and only had a micro SD.
4. Nextbase 522GW
A small camera with plenty of features including emergency SOS calling, Alexa,GPS and WiFi. The Video quality is 1440 p at 30 fps. The viewing angle is 140 degrees and there is an integrated GPS with a 3 inch HD touchscreen.
Pros: a good dash cam with plenty of features if you are looking for extra features, shoots with 2K resolution at 30 frames per second or at regular resolution 1080 full HD at 60 fps. This is a good camera for location, direction and speed. The emergency SOS feature could save lives.
Cons: the design is unattractive and too clunky. There may be too many features for some users.
A top reviewer on Best Buy wrote:
“I have had this camera for about a year now. At first i was overwhelmed with the setup part. You have to download the app and link it to your phone. This enhanced the features. It has emergency icons on it. If an accident occurs it can send the videos to local authority lawyers emergency contacts whoever you choose. This particular model also connects to rear view cameras. I unfortunately don’t have rear view cameras but i wish i did. Deleting the videos to save space can be tedious sometimes… But its a small price to pay to have a piece of mind. I have it right behind my rear view mirror mounted on the windshield. I keep it connected to stay charged all the time. It can easily be removed from the mount for reviewing videos. It records sound and image… Very clear image. Impressive quality for how small it is. I keep the lens clean and the windshield clean for best results. I have caught people running red lights swerving in the road and we have even played it back to settle arguments. Lol. Its definitely the best witness you will have. Its peripheral vision is really good. It says under the product details the distance in peripheral vision i cant remember exactly but it captures more than enough while driving. It also has a setting where you can record after you set your car in park as well. Just keep in mind it will fill the card up faster. All in all i love it. I would buy another. I’m thinking about getting my dad 1 as well. Only thing i recommend is buying the highest gb sd card you can find. It is alexa capable and you can take it with you in any vehicle as long as you have a mount that’s easy to move from car to car.”
5. Nextbase 622GW
A plug and play 4K dash cam that works well for most users. This camera has a 4K video quality at 30 fps and 1080 at 120 fps. The viewing angle is 140 degrees and there is integrated GPS with a 3 inch touchscreen.
Pros: The Alexa voice assistant is built into this unit. It has integrated GPS for data on location and speed. There is emergency SOS and location support.
Cons: The unit is much larger than other GPS units.
This is the unit up from the Nextbase 522GW and is a great choice if you need 4K for your dashcam without needing it to be hardwired to your car. The better video quality is immediately noticeable if you compare this unit to the 522GW and has the support feature What3Words which has been proven to save lives. The app is easily connected to a smartphone over WiFi so you can watch your clips easily and download any you want to save.
A top review on Best Buy read:
“Really wanted a 4k dash cam so that I could zoom in on recordings, in case I needed a license plate detail or road-sign etc. Being able to review videos on your phone is a huge plus. Also,Alexa is pretty sweet – I use it (her?) to listen to music/get the weather and other basic functions. I’m sure I could open garage doors/etc as well. Parking Mode works as advertised. I’m using the Cabin View rear cam which I really like! Great in-car view to save funny family moments. Very happy and really nothing to complain about except it’s expensive!”
This roundup was provided by staff at:Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys - Dallas