Dashboard camera purchase recommendation


Do you have any recommendation for a dashboard camera? Ideally, I would like something that turns on automatically when I turn on the engine, and that loops around so that it erases automatically old data.

Amazon sells one item but it doesn’t have good rating. Other website don’t have any customer recommendation.

I’m curious, what are plan on doing with a dash-cam? I imagine most of ones you find will use flash memory or a hard drive to store the footage, I don’t know if they can be setup to automatically erase old footage though

This is in case I get into a crash, for insurance and lawsuits… not that I plan to, but just in case.

I’m sure the cameras would have some sort of program to erase old data automatically. Dash camera could only be a good tool if it is working. My problem is that I would forget to periodically check to make sure the camera is operational. I would find out after the accident that it was’nt working.
That dash camera isn’t as important or valuable as good habits; after all the dash camera is only going to catch a certain amount of footage in front of the vehicle not the whole scene as it really is.
I myself feel you shouldn’t need to put in a dash camera if you develop good habits for yourself after an accident.
If I’m involved in an accident the first thing I do is: get the camera (1 time use camera or the camera on my cell phone) Take a picture of the first person or people,that approach you or your vehicle. This photo can be a valuable help later. It could help you find a witness or tell you who to thank later for thier help, It could show the demeanor of the other driver ( if the other driver is yelling or showing anger this could show guilt or prove a case if the other driver is uncoperative)
It’s a good idea to take pictures of the surrounding area (seting the scene of the accident)
After the people and surrounding areas have been photographed take as many pictures as possible of the vehicles involved in the accident.
Some poeple may not like the fact that you are taking photos of them or the area but your job is to protect yourself as much as possible.
Pictures are worth a thousand words and can help to later prove your case to prove the accident was or wasn’t your fault. In the case that the accident was your fault the photos can help to protect you from those people who like to make false claims from the insurance companies.
Always remember to have the photos printed A.S.A.P. with dates inprinted on the photos. Undated photos are useless.

A less expensive approach:


Isn’t this overkill in terms of being prepared?

I have driven over 470,000 miles, since 1971, without an accident.
(By way of full disclosure, I was hit in the rear at a stop light in 1976, with no damage to my car due to its “old law” recoverable bumpers, but that is the ONLY collision-related incident involving one of my cars since 1971. And, I most definitely do not drive like somebody’s Grandmother!)

Careful, defensive driving is far more important than what you are contemplating.
If you are extremely careful, you can probably do almost as well in avoiding accidents as I have.

I agree, this idea is overkill. Accident avoidance should bruguiea’s area of focus, not liability protection.

bruguiea, if you go through with this idea, how to you plan to establish a chain of custody for the video to prove nobody will have had an opportunity to tamper with it before it is seen in court? What are the laws in your state governing the admissibility of such a video? Would you even be allowed to use it in court?

If you haven’t explored these questions, you are putting the cart before the horse.

Just because you’re paranoid it doesn’t mean that everyone isn’t out to get you.

I think a back-up camera would be handy, especially if you own a trailer. Can’t see any other use for a hash-mounted camera.

Accident avoidance is my area of focus, the same way as for people who buy life insurance and don’t plan on dying.

I have a daughter about ready to get her license and American Family Ins offers a free one that records any indescressions on video and I think offers gps coordinates. Crap I hate the fun police.

That’s not the best analogy, IMHO.

Someone who wants to prolong his life will live a healthy lifestyle–i.e.: exercise, sensible diet, prompt attention to medical problems. Additionally, that person might buy life insurance, but that insurance does not prolong his life.

Similarly, someone who wants to avoid accidents will keep his car in superb mechanical condition, drive defensively, and avoid dangerous situations whenever possible. Additionally, that person has to purchase car insurance (at least in most states), but that insurance policy does not prevent accidents.

If you are really focusing on accident avoidance in all possible aspects, buying a dash cam is truly overkill and–IMHO–represents more than a little paranoia.

If focusing on accident avoidance is insufficient, how would you explain my record of 38 years/470,000 miles with no chargeable accidents, and 33 years with no accidents of any kind?

This definitely seems like a great idea to keep the new young drivers behaveing themselves. I like the idea

I have trouble with that analogy too. Everyone is going to die. Not everyone will be in an accident.

If you need Big Brother to monitor your son or daughter, do you really trust this young person enough that he or she should be behind the wheel?

If you need Big Brother to monitor your son or daughter, have you done your job as a parent?

Forgive me for asking. This used to be such a hot topic around here that I would like to see what some of the new-comers think.

I recall running across a discussion regarding a motorcylist’s helmet cam that was crucial in providing evidence that the M/C was cut off and hit by a car. Before it was known that there was camera evidence, the guy driving the car denied all wrongdoing and blamed the M/C rider for riding recklessly. Once confronted with the video, the guy admitted fault. You could clearly see the tach, speedo and the traffic in the video. Pretty compelling stuff! Could someone fake the video? Probably. But with the car cutting her off, the collision, the skidding and helmet bouncing off the pavement, it was powerful evidence!

A “hash-mounted camera”? Sounds illegal Docnick…


The DriveCam system might be of interest to you (www.drivecam.com). It consists of a camera in the car that is always recording. When the system senses a sudden change (hard braking, getting hit, hitting the curb, etc.), it saves 10 seconds before the event and 10 seconds after the event. Since it’s not saving everything all the time, I wouldn’t consider it “Big Brother”. Check out the web site. There are some interesting videos from accidents the system caught. While I’ve never seen this system in person, it sounds like a good idea.

bruquiea; the best way to avoid accidents is to invest some money in an advanced driving course. I took the army course when in the military, the police test in a major city when I worked for their utility, and also a DEFENSIVE DRIVING COURSE from the AAA. All three made me aware of what other drivers may be up to and have served me well.

A camera is a PASSIVE device that might be of some use after you have taken the above-mentioned courses. I persudaded my wife to take a winter driving course in the mountains. She thoroughly enjoyed it and can now handle a car in almost any emergency.

If you spend too much time looking at your dash-mounted camera, you may actually CAUSE an accident, since you are not looking at the road. I don’t want to be anywhere around you when you’re doing that.

Sorry, Doc.