• Dashboard cameras – or dash cams – have become more popular in recent years. But let’s start by looking at the history! In 2015, just nine per cent of drivers had a dash cam, while last year more than one in four of us on the road had installed the device.

    The concept of dash board cameras was first universally adopted by Russian motorists – and the UK should be next. The reason Russians embraced the technology was because they had fears of aggressive motorists, insurance fraud and even accidents not being investigated properly without the equipment.

    With the help of Lookers Group, who offer car servicing plans, we take a look at why you should invest in a dashboard camera.

    How do you know which dashboard camera you should purchase?

    You’ll be able to find one to suit your personal needs as there is a range of products available at a variety of needs.

    The Garmin Dash Cam 55 is a compact all-in-one with a two-inch LCD screen and integrated GPS. It provides a viewing angle of 122 degrees and is a well-priced all-rounder.

    If live streaming is what you’re looking for however, the Philips ADR820 with a CMOS sensor allows you to stream your footage to a phone app. It also has a rear camera that is available separately. Of course, there are cheaper models – and more expensive – available so it’s a case of finding out what is most important to you.

    A dashboard camera? What is it?

    A dash cam is a camera than can be attached to your car’s interior and exterior via the car’s electrical system. They can also be hardwired and are designed for continuous recording.

    What benefits can having a dashboard camera bring?

    It can keep you safe

    Having a dashboard camera can also act as a safety feature. This is because it can act in a similar way to a CCTV camera as it will constantly record what is going on when you’re in your vehicle. In July 2018, dash cam manufacturer, Nextbase, collaborated with regional constabularies in England and Wales to launch a national dash cam safety portal. This was set up to allow owners of any dash cam to easily and quickly submit any footage to relevant authorities to help with any cases.

    Insurance costs can be lowered

    Another reason to get a dashboard camera is to prevent insurance fraud. This is because your insurance company will have the peace of mind that there won’t be any unforeseen legal battles.

    You can save up to 20% on your annual insurance by declaring you have a dash cam fitted. This can make a huge difference, especially for younger drivers who are likely to have a high premium. A survey by Nextbase found that the 41 top major insurance providers now all accept dash cam footage as proof of an incident.

    Aviva’s research found that 17% of people with a dash cam bought the equipment due to not being able to prove their innocence in an accident. Also, 48% installed the recording device for peace of mind incase they were ever involved in a collision.

    This highlights that one advantage of having a dashboard camera is that if you have dash cam footage to prove you were not at fault in an incident then it makes it much easier to settle your claim quickly and in your favour. As well as being used for insurance purposes, dash cam footage can also be used as evidence in court should you ever need.

    It can make you a better driver

    Distracted driving is a common problem on our roads. Many believe that by having a dash cam, drivers are more likely to travel safely. This is because they are aware that any error will be picked up. Huge efforts have been made to eradicate this, including not being allowed to be on your phone while driving. Laws have been put in place to hand out six penalty points and a £200 fine if you are found to be using a mobile phone while driving. The punishment is much more severe for those who have been driving for less than two years as they will also lose their licence.

    As well as this, over a third of drivers who own a dash cam agree that one of the main reasons they installed the device was to feel safer when driving, according to research by Aviva.

    It is expected that dash cams will soon be a feature of most new cars due to technological advancements. By taking in the above points, it’s also clear to see why.

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