We consider it our responsibility over here at Automoblog.net to keep you up to date on all the latest and greatest automotive technology, and I think we do a pretty damn good job. Although maybe I’m a little bit biased. On a pretty regular basis, as I’m sure you know, companies send us some of the coolest new tech products for your car so we can test it out and let you know what we think about it.
Over the past couple years though I’ve noticed a massive rise in the amount of offers we’ve been getting to review dash cams. So much so that we had to start turning some of them away. Of course, we tell you about the ones we think are the most noteworthy.
Most recently, Carl reviewed the cool new PAPAGO P3 Dash Cam and liked it quite a lot, especially for the price. He also took on the Cobra CDR 900 HD and had a little too much fun reviewing the video of himself going through an automated car wash. Aaron reviewed the Blackvue Wi-Fi HD cam a while back, then updated with another Blackvue 2-channel version a few months later.
Dash cams make a lot of sense. Not only do they provide a massive safety benefit against theft, vandalism, and in case of an accident, but can also be used to record track times, for example, or record and upload crazy shit that happens up to Youtube. They’ve been used to capture crazy drivers in Russia, asteroids crashing into earth, and even the recent TransAsia plane crashing into the Taiwan river.
The infographic below provided by Carfinance247 goes over some of the reasons for the rise in popularity of dashcams and some of the more practical sides of using one.
Tell us what you think in the comments below!
(Click the image for a larger version)
A 10-ton meteor crashes into the outskirts of Chelyabinsk and a dozen different motorists capture the event.
Why were so many Russians filming at that particular moment?
The answer: dashcams.
Where did they come from?
Dashboard mounted video cameras (‘dashcams’) may seem like a relatively new phenomenon but they’ve been in use for over 30 years.
Analog (video-tape) cameras mounted on the dashboard are introduced to a small number of US police departments
World’s Wildest Police Videos, an American reality TV series, popularises the use of dashcams by police
Funding for dashcams sees adoption rates of US police departments rise from 11% to 72%
Regulations passed by the Russian Interior Ministry allow citizens to install in-car dashcams
1 million Russians report owning one or more dashcams
Thanks to the growing popularity of Russian videos, dashcam sales increase by 918% in the UK and 200% in the US
- Feb 2013 – Meteor crashes into the outskirts of Chelyabinsk
- May 2014 – Dashcam app released for iPhone
- Aug 2014 – Footage of a missile landing a few feet in front of car in Donestk, Ukraine
- Feb 2015 – Footage of TransAsia airways flight GE235 hitting a Taipei highway and crashing into the river
Why do people use them?
The main reasons dashcams have gained massive popularity in Russia include:
- Dangerous driving conditions
Road traffic death rate per 100,000 people:
“The rise of dashcams is purely down to potential dangers while driving.” – Bryn Brooker, Marketing Manager, Nextbase –
The largest manufacturer of dashcams in the UK
- Police corruption
32% of Russians believe the police to be corrupt
69% of Russian’s are prepared to bribe a traffic officer
$81 (£53) – the average size of a bribe for traffic police
- ‘Cash for crash’ criminals
One of the potential dangers in Russia and around the world is the growing prevalence of “crash for cash” criminals, who stage accidents to receive insurance pay-outs.
In the UK:
1.9% of all insurance claims are fraudulent
54% of fraudulent claims are ‘cash for crash’ claims
£392 million ($593 million)
total annual cost to insurers of ‘cash for crash’ claims
In the US:
21% of auto-injury claims are believed to go to fraudsters
$7.7 billion (£5.1 billion)
total annual amount paid out to potential fraudsters
In response to this fraud:
The discount some insurance providers are offering drivers who install dashcams
Dashcam adoption rates are currently low in many Western countries.
In the UK,
4% of drivers currently have dashcams
39% are considering installing a dashcam
71% believe that if widespread, dashcams would help cut bogus car insurance claims
What you need to know
A dashcam can provide you with the evidence you need after a crash, but only if you buy, install and use them properly.
What to buy:
- Purchase a small camera as it will obscure less of your view
- Check online reviews to make sure the model you choose is easy to operate
- Check the specs – the resolution should be at least 720p (1080p is preferable)
- A ‘loop’ function that will record over old footage when the disc is full
- Auto-start – so you can forget about needing to press record
How to install:
- Clean your windscreen
- Position the dashcam in the centre of the windscreen near the top, ideally behind the rear view mirror
- Remove any reflective items from your dashboard that may cause screen glare
- Ensure the camera’s focus is the road
How to use:
- Mute the audio (audio recording is prohibited in most US states and European countries)
- Download the footage once a month and view it to ensure it is recording properly
The recent popularity of dashcams in Russia as well as the threat of ‘cash for crash’ fraudsters will likely see the in-car camera becoming a more popular sight in the future.