DashCams…..How Useful Are They?

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In my role as a driver trainer, I use a dashcam daily. In fact, it powers up whenever the car starts. I use 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution, mounted on the front windscreen behind the central mirror. Unobtrusive, but valuable beyond belief. Thus far, it’s saved me an insurance excess of $600, resulted in one driver being taken through the courts for dangerous driving, and provided literally hours and hours of worthwhile video of poor driving by mainly open licensed drivers that I make available to my students as examples of what NOT to do on the roads, and what to look out for by way of hazard avoidance. What did it cost me? $80 on Ebay. If you look around there is a huge range of the technology available, and with anything technological, you should always buy as far up the range as your budget will afford. Buy direct via Ebay, rather than Supercheap Auto or the other similar retail outlets as they usually add a 100% markup. An example would be the heads-up speed display I use. $50 on Ebay. The exact same item with a different name on it at Supercheap……$101.

Make sure, if you choose to install a DashCam, that you buy one that provides Full High Definition clarity. FHD delivers a minimum of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Anything less and you lose clarity in bright light and capture next to nothing in dim light or at night. The one I use also has a GPS receiver built in so it registers location and speed of the car it resides in. Always use the highest capacity memory card your camera will accept. 32 Gb at least will give you around 6 hours of 10 to 15 minute files which record sequentially. All cameras, that I’m aware of, have a file lock function to save valuable files from being over-written, as that’s what the camera will do when full. It records over existing files as long as there is unlocked space to do so.

So, what sort of thing gets captured daily? Have a look at today’s example. I apologise in advance for my language, but very seriously, when you’re on the road, teaching people what not to do, and see this kind of behaviour, it’s hard not to utter the appropriate exclamation. The idiot in this video – 09.LEM – will be reported to police for tailgating a learner and dangerous driving, not to mention highly illegal driving.

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