What is a dash cam?
A dash cam (or dash cam) is a small video camera that attaches to your car’s windshield and continuously records video as you drive. Dash cams were popularized in Russia; more than likely, you have seen footage from a Russian dashboard camera. Sometimes, a dash cam is called a car DVR (Digital Video Recorder), a car black box, or an in-car camera system.

Why is it called a “dash cam”?
Dash cams, or dashboard cameras, got their name due to originally being mounted on the dashboard of vehicles (mostly police cars). Now, most dash cams mount to a car’s windshield with a secure and easy to use suction cup mount.

Are there different kinds?
Yes, there are several types of dash cams, and while they come in all shapes and sizes, they may be classified in a few distinct categories:
Single-lens dash cams
Multiple-lens dash cams

How do I use one?
Once you have purchased a dash cam, in most cases, this is all you must do to be up and running:
Insert a memory card.
Attach the suction-cup mount to your windshield.
Plug the power cord into the power source (cigarette lighter or other).
Done! Since recording is automatic, just drive your vehicle like you normally would and enjoy the fact that you are now protected by dash cam.

What are they good for?
Dash cams have many applications, but most important, they act as an impartial witness if an accident occurs. Sadly, there are dishonest people in the world, and a dash cam provides irrefutable evidence of what happened before, during, and after an incident. No more “your word against theirs” – you will always have the truth on your side.

What else are dash cams good for?
You have undoubtedly watched footage recorded on a dash cam on the news or on the internet. Remember the Russian meteorite event? Since dash cams are always recording, they capture amazing, interesting, or even funny events that occur every day around the world.

Dash cam footage can help others. If you capture an accident on film, it is almost certain the other drivers will be happy to know you (and your dash cam) were there as a witness. We’ve seen plenty of clips like this on YouTube, including hit-and-run incidents where only the dash cam saw what occurred, and the innocent victim would be left to pay the bill if not for the license plate captured by someone else’s dash cam.

Who uses dash cams?
The majority of all police cars, fire trucks, ambulances, city buses etc. use dash cams. Increasingly, individuals concerned with false liability claims and protecting themselves in the case of an accident are utilizing the protection offered by onboard video recorders. This includes everyday drivers like you, parents, truckers, and 18-wheeler drivers etc.

Fleet owners and contract drivers, as well, can benefit greatly from having video (and position) data from their fleet vehicles when they are out in service for the day. Almost every driver should be using a dash cam! More drivers every day agree with this statement and join the group of those who are “protected by dash cam.”

How do they work?
You can’t explain that! Just kidding. Dash cams record video to a removable memory card inside the camera. Anytime your car is on and the dash cam is plugged in, it is acting as your backup witness. Dash cams automatically start recording when powered on and stop recording once you turn your car off.

Where do dash cams get their power?
All dash cams come with a power cord that plugs into the 12v cigarette lighter outlet in your car. Plug this cord in, and you are up and running! This cord is usually long enough to tuck behind and route around the interior panels of your vehicle (on the way to the power outlet), so it will not be visible to the driver or passengers.

Tell me more about the videos I record with my dash cam.
A dash cam creates video files on an empty memory card. These video files are typically segmented into 1, 3, or 5-minute chunks, since it is easier to view and work with small video files on your computer, rather than one long continuous file. When the memory card is full, the dash cam simply starts over at the beginning of the memory card, and in this way, needs no attention from you until you have captured an incident on video you would like to save. This is known as “loop recording” and is one of the most important abilities of dash cams.

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