The United States isn't changing its driving habits anytime soon. Although more people are ride-sharing or using new taxi-like services such as Lyft or Uber, there's still a lot of traffic out there and a lot of risks that go unseen until it's too late. To defend yourself against careless drivers and scammers, here are a few dash cam details to help you out.
What Is A Dash Cam?
A dashboard camera or dash cam is a camera that can be mounted inside a vehicle to record as needed. There are multiple levels of dash cam quality and configuration, but a few of these options should be enough to get you started.
The most basic dash cam setup is a center-mounted ceiling camera. It should point at the windshield and can get as much of the forward view of your car as possible. Although the word dash is in the name, some vehicles may have a time keeping a dash cam stable on the actual dash, and you can get a wider view with a ceiling mount.
High Definition is normal definition these days. Don't try to cut corners by getting a non-HD camera, because when you actually need it, the terrible quality may hurt your case and make it harder to get the information you need. HD does not mean expensive since it's the new normal, and the lowest resolution you should expect is 720p.
With an at least 720p camera, a center ceiling camera can get a lot of information about a crash, hit-and-run, theft, or other automobile incidents. If you want even more footage, just add more cameras. Four cameras for the front, rear, and side views of your vehicle should be enough.
Finally, accessories. Get a camera that has a micro SD (secure digital) card slot just like cameras and smartphones to make saving and retrieving information easy. If you're computer savvy or don't mind the bulk, a portable storage drive such as an SSD (solid state drive) can be mounted. If you want to capture hit-and-run accidents in parking spaces, get a battery pack as well.
Using Dash Cams For Legal Defense
Dash cam evidence can make a major blow against a legal opponent, but it isn't everything. Your main opponents will be people who had honest accidents and want to lie about what happened, and then scammers who set up the accident on purpose.
No matter who hits your vehicle, never show your dash cam evidence immediately. If your life isn't in danger, immediately call the police after confirming that you're safe. Get them on the way, and if you're concerned about the driver, call them while you're walking to check on the other vehicle.
Don't put down the phone at their request. Keep an eye on your surroundings to avoid other vehicles and other dangers, but stay on the phone until your location is confirmed and help is on the way. Avoid bringing up your dash cam until law enforcement or your lawyer arrives, as some people may be tempted to steal or destroy the evidence.
If it's a scammer who drives off after seeing your dash cam, do not pursue. Write down or tap the information into your phone while getting to safety, even if you're sure that the camera got everything.
Contact an auto accident lawyer for other legal defenses before an accident, or to get help if you already have dash cam evidence that needs more structure.