Your dashboard camera questions answered
Dashboard cameras or ‘dash cams’ have been around for a while, but with improvements in technology and upgrades in image quality they’re now more accessible to motorists than ever, as are the benefits of fitting one. Despite this we know you still have some important questions about these helpful little gadgets. So, we’ve answered some of your most frequent dashboard camera questions.
1. Where do I send dash cam footage [after an accident]?
Dashboard camera footage is now regularly accepted as evidence by police and insurers but the process for submitting dash cam footage is still in its infancy. The police do not have one simple platform that deals with footage from across the UK, instead, every police force deals with this footage in their own way. So, in the event of an accident where you have footage, the best thing to do is to contact the local police force and find out how they would like you to submit it, this may be via email, through portal on their website or in some instances, in person.
Next, when you contact your insurer to inform them of the accident, also inform them that dash cam footage was captured and expect to submit it to them for viewing also. If for any reason solicitors need to be involved they will also need to see it.
2. What do I do if I capture an incident on my dash cam?
In the case of you witnessing and capturing an accident involving other vehicles or anti-social driving on your dash cam, you can offer your details to the drivers involved, if it is safe to do so and again, contact local police and find out how to upload it to their online portal or send it to them directly.
3. Do I need a dash cam with GPS?
If you commute, spend a lot of time driving or are a parent of a young new driver you may want to opt for a dashboard camera with the GPS (Global Positioning System) feature which accurately records vehicle location, route and speed travelled, and because it is a ‘global system’ it will work even if you leave the UK.
Dashboard camera footage with GPS tracking will pinpoint the exact incident location, time, date and speed at which you were travelling, without having to rely on memory which can become ambiguous after an accident.
GPS is helpful but not essential; without it, you still have the most important feature, its recording capability, which is the main reason for installing a dashboard camera. In the case of an accident, you will have invaluable footage to give to the police and your insurers as evidence. Having an independent witness at the scene of any accident can help to determine fault and even speed up an insurance claim process.
You don’t need GPS to record the date and time either, in the case of the Kitvision Dash Cameras, for example, you have the option to enable a time and date stamp in the dashboard camera’s settings. If the G-Sensor detects a collision, you won’t have to rely on memory to record the exact time and date of the accident.
4. What is the battery life of a dash cam?
A dashboard camera, like the Kitvision Observer 720p or 1080p, doesn’t rely on its own battery life to function. Its main purpose is to record a vehicle’s every journey, therefore it requires the car to power it most of the time to function most effectively. Cleverly, it will hold some charge for a short period of time if you do need to take it out to take a photo of damage to your car for example.
It’s this element of the design that supports key features like Auto-start; by staying connected to the car’s power it enables the camera to kick-in automatically when the car ignition is switched on, which means you never have to worry about remembering to turn the camera on.
5. Does a dash cam work when the car is off?
The Kitvision Observer Dashboard Camera range have built-in features to ensure that you can enjoy peace of mind whether you’re driving or not. Motion detection and parking mode means you can rest assured that when the car is off or when you’re away from it, any bump or collision will be detected, recorded and saved.
6. Will a dash cam drain my battery?
A dashboard camera does not require a lot of power, but if you use the 12 V/24 V cigarette lighter or car’s USB port it is most likely that it is permanently live which means your dashboard camera will keep drawing power from the vehicle battery. However, if you drive your car for at least 20 or 30 minutes daily, it is unlikely that your battery will be affected. If however, you only drive your car every few days then it is advisable to disconnect the dashboard camera and remember to plug it back in when you next take a journey.
7. What is dash cam loop recording?
Your dashboard camera requires a Micro SD card to record and save footage, once you have inserted one the camera is designed to use a ‘loop record’ function which means you will never waste space on your memory card. It will record in a continuous loop, recording over all unneeded footage, unless a collision is detected by the camera’s built-in G-sensor, in which case that footage will be recorded and saved with a time stamp, ready for you to export when needed.