Camera Companions

Camera Companions

Dash cams can add a new level of security for the professional driver

You’ve all seen or it or experienced it… out of nowhere, a careless motorist veers across lanes and sideswipes your vehicle. Before you can react, the perpetrator has disappeared into traffic, leaving you with an expensive repair and no one else to pay. If only you’d captured the whole event on camera? Wouldn’t that have been great?

Dash cams have been around for a while – those tiny, all-seeing video cameras that watch the road – but more powerful, smart and more economic varieties have arrived, and they’ve got to be a taxi driver’s new best friend.

First introduced by Law Enforcement to gather evidence and record officer activity, dash cams have come a long way since those initial bulky devices. Modern versions are very small, video is captured to hard drive or uploaded to an ‘off-board’ server and they fit securely to your car dashboard or windscreen.

Professionally referred to as a car DVR, driving recorder, or event data recorder (EDR), the dash cam is an onboard camera that continuously records the view through a vehicle’s front windscreen and sometimes rear or other windows. Some dash cams also include a camera to record the interior of the car in 360 degrees (inside camera, usually in a ball form) and can automatically send pictures and video (using 4G) to an ‘off-board’ server.

EDRs and some dash cams also record acceleration/deceleration (g-force), speed, steering angle, GPS data and more. Most dash cams record in high-definition video and have night vision mode. They can provide invaluable video evidence in the event of a road accident or incident on the move and . when the vehicle is parked, they can capture video and picture evidence if vandalism is detected.  (Some cams will even alert the vehicle owner and transmit live pictures of the vandal at work).

Budget dash cams can be bought from major retailers or online marketplaces like Amazon for as little as $45, with high-end models offering all the bells and whistles going for around $200. Fitting is usually a breeze and can normally be done by the driver in minutes.

Recent Government data reveals that more than 80 people per day die in road accidents in the US and that there were over 5,400,000 car crashes nationwide in 2015. Statistics like this reveal that a collision on today’s roads is not a case of IF it’s a case of WHEN. As such, having a companion in the car to record the time it happens to you must be an investment worth making.