Why You Might Want a Dash Cam in Your Car

Peace of mind while on the road

Key Takeaways

  • Traffic accidents and deaths related to traffic incidents continue to grow each year.
  • Adding a dash cam to your car can help you track any events leading to accidents, allowing authorities to better determine who was at fault.
  • While dash cams offer some privacy concerns, experts say the peace of mind is worthwhile for users who drive a lot and worry about traffic-related incidents.
Dashcam behind the front window of a car

fhm / Getty Images

As traffic accidents and deaths related to those accidents continue to rise, experts say dash cams can provide some peace of mind for drivers, though they also come with trade-offs.

Despite months with millions working from home, 2020 saw a rise in deaths related to traffic incidents, growing from 36,096 in 2019 to 38,680. Now, with even more workers returning to the daily commute, experts say keeping safe on the road is more important than ever. One way that has become especially popular in recent years is the installation of a dash cam in your car. These can record your driving, keeping track of your actions and the actions of others. This can provide a bevy of benefits, including peace of mind.

"There are many reasons why people look into purchasing a dashboard camera. In most cases, the primary reason is to protect themselves from possible accidents and crimes," Katherine Brown, founder of Spyic, a remote monitoring company, told Lifewire in an email. "This is because the device acts as a kind of ‘black box’ for the car, giving owners the ability to record all types of events that may occur while driving."

Protecting You

As Brown mentioned, one of the biggest ways dash cams help is by giving drivers a definitive way to record any events happening around them. This is especially possible with expanded dash cam systems like the Nextbase 622GW. These expanded options offer rearview cameras and cabin cameras, giving you a good view of everything happening around you.

Dash cams also can be used for other safety-related incidents.

Storm and lightning from a dashcam point of view in Colorado, USA

john finney photography / Getty Images

"Dashboard cameras help record videos with people if they suspect that they may be under surveillance or have criminal intentions," Brown noted. "For example, if their car is being followed by a suspicious vehicle. It's easier for the driver to capture video of what's going on around them because they don't have to reach for their phone, which is safer than using a mobile phone while driving."

When you’re driving, it's important to keep your eyes on the road and be aware of everything going on around you. Even if you pay attention, though, remembering all the tiny details that led to an accident can be difficult, especially when you’re stressed about the situation. By installing a dash cam, you can alleviate some of this stress by creating additional evidence to work with, should you ever need it.

Blindspots

When it comes to positives, it would be easy to list a half dozen situations in which having a dash cam could help. However, there are also some concerns that come with these devices. 

According to Perry Zheng, a software engineer at Lyft, dash cams can record the voices of anyone inside the vehicle they are installed in. 

This could lead to concerns that your private conversations are being recorded, and as such, could possibly be accessed if your dash cam is ever stolen. There are also concerns that inter-connected systems, like LTE- or Wi-Fi-based dash cams, could be hacked and used to record footage without your knowledge. 

"There are many reasons why people look into purchasing a dashboard camera."

"The cam could also record if you were texting, attending a call or doing any other prohibited activity while driving. As a result, you are equally at the risk of being exposed if an accident occurs because of your mistake," Zheng explained.

Furthermore, there is also the up front cost that comes from picking up one of these devices. While some, like the Garmin Dash Cam Mini, retail for under $100, more intricate systems like the Nextbase 622GW can cost upwards of $300. Like any tech, it’s all about finding something that fits your budget and delivers the experience you need.

In the end, how much is your peace of mind worth?

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