For years, dash cameras for consumer vehicles have been incredibly popular all over the world – but they’re gaining a particularly notable amount of traction in the United Kingdom. According to one recent study, dash cam usage is actually at an all-time high – a trend that shows absolutely no signs of slowing down any time soon. The devices, which have plummeted in price recently, have surged by 600 pieces or more in a lot of cases as they become both more compact and easier to use as well. All told, it is estimated that 3 million drivers in the UK now have a dash cam of some type. Similar trends are revealing themselves in other countries, like the United States.

Car Dash Camera

The Situation With Dash Cams

Indeed, it is that price point that has been the major contributing factor to their popularity. Safety experts have said that dash cams have actually been prominent in professional environments for over a decade. They were particularly useful in not only commercial fleets, but also with emergency vehicles and in similar contexts as well. It was the reduction in size, along with the major leap forward from a technological standpoint that coincided with a massive price drop that have made them affordable for everyday drivers across the country. Depending on exactly what type of model you’re interested in and where you buy it, a dash cam that is easy to use and that won’t restrict visibility can be purchased for as little as £25.

Safe, conscientious drivers across the UK love them in particular because they go a long way towards protecting their “no-claims bonus” – an insurance rate discount that drivers get when they go a certain period of time without filing a claim. Insurance companies in the United States have begun to offer similar discounts. Experts note that dash cams are also valuable for protecting against other dangerous drivers who may share the road with you, road rage incidents, insurance fraud scenarios (also sometimes referred to as “crash-for-cash” scams) and more.

When purchasing a dash cam for your own vehicle, there are absolutely a few key things that you’ll want to keep in mind. First, you always want to purchase a model that shoots high-definition video – never buy one with a resolution of less than 720p, but preferably go for one that shoots in full 1080p HD. Not only will this help capture as much detail as possible, but a higher resolution also means that the camera is better fitted for recording in low light situations – particularly valuable if you do a lot of driving at night. This advantage bleeds into other areas, too. Dash cams with lower resolutions aren’t good with sudden spikes of light, which at night is something you’ll deal with a lot as you pass drivers with their headlights on who are traveling in the opposite direction.

Once you actually bring your dash cam home, you’ll want to be very careful about where you place it, too. Generally speaking, you’ll want to stick to the very center of your windshield – usually behind the rearview mirror. This will guarantee both that the camera has a proper angle to record everything happening in front of your car, but that it does so without obstructing your vision in any way.

There are other features that you may choose to invest in as well – like Wi-Fi connectivity that allows you to live stream footage from any computer, smartphone or other mobile device that you may have – but these are not explicitly necessary in most situations. They’re nice features to have, particularly if you’re the parent of a teenage driver whom you want to monitor, but they are not requirements in the strictest sense of the term. If you can afford to upgrade to a unit with this type of feature, you should do so, but if not, you shouldn’t worry that your dash cam is suddenly subpar in any way.