Dash cams: A mini guide

Around 27% of drivers in the UK have a dash cam, according to research by Which. Nearly three-quarters of those drivers thought all drivers should have a dash cam and almost 48% of them said having a dash cam gives them peace of mind in the event of a collision.

Thy say a picture paints a thousand words and the same could be said for Dash cam footage! When analyzed correctly they can help save stress and time when trying to establish fault in a road traffic collision. Here’s a little more information on the benefits of dash cams, what options you have and how to edit and submit dash cam footage with ease…

Benefits of having a dash cam

Catching out insurance fraudsters

Some people cause road traffic collisions on purpose, whether that’s braking suddenly or cutting in front of you at a roundabout. A dash cam can catch people trying to bring claims fraudulently and stop them from claiming unnecessary insurance payouts.

Evidence for personal injury claims

As well as evidence for insurance claims, dash cam footage comes in very handy when providing evidence for a personal injury claim. The compensation you could receive from a road traffic collision claim could help you with missed income from your job, as well as medication and healthcare costs.

Cheaper insurance

Can you get an insurance discount with a dash cam? Yes – you can! Insurance companies reward safe drivers with insurance discounts. Just as you would get a discount if you installed a black box in your car, you could get lower insurance by having dash cam in your vehicle too.

Record your road trip

This one isn’t one of the first benefits you think about when it comes to having a dash cam, but it’s a great way to record your holiday road trips if you’re a keen traveller. You can use them as part of a video montage as a keepsake from your trip.

What to look for in a dash cam

A dash cam isn’t just a recording device for your car – it’s so much more than that. Here are just a few of the dash cam features available:

Recording quality

Most dash cams these days are at least 720p, but there are plenty of affordable models out there available with 1080p HD and even 2160p (otherwise known as 4K Ultra HD). The higher the quality, the clearer and bigger the image, as there are more pixels. It’s worth noting that 4K UHD dash cams can be up to four times higher in quality than standard HD dash cams.

Single lens or multiple lens

A single lens dash cam is fitted on the dashboard and plugged into your vehicle’s 12V socket. A multiple lens system is where you have both a dashboard camera and a rear dash cam. Single lens dash cams are easy to install, whereas multiple lens dash cams may need to be hard-wired into the car…so you may need a professional to install it! However, having both front and rear dash cams means, of course, that you will have footage of both sides of the road and be that ever useful pair of eyes sticking out of the back of your head!

GPS

GPS tracking shows the exact location of your crash, the route you took and an estimation of the speed you were going. This can be very helpful if you need to submit footage to the police or your insurance company.

Parking mode

Parking mode is a genius feature where the dash cam starts recording when it senses another car colliding with your parked car. This can help when it comes to claiming on insurance.

G-force sensor

Usually, dash cams record on a loop, so old footage will be erased when the memory card fills up. G-force sensors are a particularly clever feature of dash cams, as they detect and save crucial footage such as a high impact crash. The footage is protected from being overwritten by the loop, giving you peace of mind that you still have evidence of your road traffic collision months down the line.

Editing dash cam footage

You don’t need fancy software to edit your dash cam footage – after all, if you have been involved in a collision and are trying to establish it wasn’t your fault, you just need the recording of the moments before, during and after the collision. If you have Windows 10, one of the easiest ways to edit your dash cam footage is to use the Photos app. Just click on the Start button (Windows icon) and navigate to Photos…or just type it in the search bar. Once you have the app open simply click “Create” in the top right corner and “Custom video.” From thereon you can click to upload your video clips. To trim them, all you need to do is double click the necessary clip on the storyboard and use the Trim tool. To mute the sound just click on the speaker in the bottom corner of the video.

But should you include the dash cam audio? It’s up to you whether or not you leave the audio on. Some people find it helps to make a habit out of reading a car’s number plate if they spot it driving dangerously. This can be a lifesaver if your dash cam didn’t quite catch the number plate of the offending vehicle! Audio can also show that you used your indicators, beeped your horn in plenty of time and it can even catch out bumps you didn’t notice in the first place.

Some dash cams come with free editing software or an app, but it’s completely up to you how you wish to edit them.

Submitting dash cam footage

If you were injured in a road traffic collision through no fault of your own, in other words if the incident was caused by the actions of another driver, then you can make a claim for compensation.

Dash cam footage can be used along with photographs of the scene of the incident, proof of damage to the vehicles and witness statements.

However, if you’ve witnessed dangerous driving or indeed a collision it’s now possible to upload your dash cam footage directly onto your local police database. Just use the Nextbase map to find out where to submit your footage. People who witness a road traffic collision in Wales can also use the Operation SNAP website to upload their dash cam footage, along with any supporting details.   

We understand being involved in a road traffic incident can be devastating. We can help you apply for compensation on behalf of you or a loved one. The money won’t undo what happened, but it can help towards travel costs, loss of income and much more.

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