Unlike most of the tech and gadgets you typically find in cars, dashcams aren’t designed to provide entertainment (or infotainment), offer any sort of comfort or convenience, or make it safer to drive. These devices tend to be small and compact, offer very little in the way of frills, and have one laser-focused purpose: to record everything that goes on in or around your vehicle on the off chance that something might go horribly awry while you’re on the road.
What Are Dashcams?
Dashcams are small video cameras that are typically installed either on the dashboard of a car, hence the name, although they can also be attached to the windshield or placed elsewhere. Virtually any portable camera or recording device can be used as a dashcam, but purpose-built devices typically:
- Run on 12V DC
- Feature “always on” recording
- Automatically overwrite old data as new data recorded
Other features are often available, but this core set more or less defines the dashcam as a device. The ability to run on 12V DC means that the device can be hard-wired into a vehicle’s electrical system, 'always on' recording means that the device will automatically start to record whenever the vehicle is driven, and the ability to overwrite old data means that the driver never has to fiddle with old, unneeded video files.
How Do Dashcams Work?
Purpose-built dashcams are relatively simple. When they are installed, they are wired directly into the vehicle’s 12V electrical system. The power will typically be taken from a source that is only hot when the ignition is in the accessory or run position, which is due to the fact that dashcams are designed to constantly record whenever they are on, and they’re usually also designed to be on whenever they are supplied with power.
If a dashcam is intended for use as security device when the vehicle isn’t actually in use, then it may be wired into a circuit that is always hot, or it may be powered by an internal battery or external second car battery to avoid draining the vehicle’s battery.
In either case, dashcams are designed to constantly record video data to removable storage media like an SD card, flash drive, or an internal solid-state storage device. When the storage device fills up, the camera will automatically overwrite the oldest video files. This design is meant to provide a sort of “set and forget” situation, where you can hook up a dashboard camera and then essentially leave it alone until you need it.
Does Huddle accept dashcams?
Not only will we accept footage as part of your claim, it will become very valuable.
With the increasing popularity of recording devices such as these, claims assessors are able to access more information than ever before, meaning they are able to deliver liability decisions with even more confidence.
Imagine, for example that you are in a parking lot, stationary, and the car in front of you reverses suddenly. Perhaps they thought they were in a different gear, or maybe they didn’t see you – regardless, the end result is that they crash into the front of your car, causing damage.
Should the driver of that vehicle decide to lie and claim that you rear-ended them, dash cam footage would be a very quick (and satisfying) way of proving what actually happened.
How you can help?
Do you have any dash cam recommendations? Post them here and make everyone aware what works and what doesn’t.
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