Digital witness: What to consider when choosing a dashcam

  • Tech News
  • Saturday, 13 Jul 2019

A dashcam will record the date, time and location of your car in case of an accident. — dpa

A dashcam can act as a witness when something goes wrong on the road, recording the date and time, and even your exact location and speed, thanks to the built-in GPS.

It's possible to retrieve this information without any additional software, according to the German tech magazine c't, which tested eight of the devices.

However, the reliability of the dashcam's evidence also depends on the quality of the sensors, the experts say. Though all of the devices tested were able to register strong shocks such as those that occur in a head-on collision, only half were able to recognise emergency braking when set to the factory settings.

Speaking of settings, the experts also recommend a higher frame rate so that the images remain clear even at high speeds. Thirty frames per second is not enough, they say – 60 frames per second is better, even if the resolution suffers as a result.

Some models enable you to embed your own licence plate numbers in the video, if you have entered them beforehand – useful for people who have more than one car.

Before fixing a dashcam to your windshield, clean the surface thoroughly to ensure it will stick properly. For the best view of the road, the experts recommend mounting the device as centrally as possible under the rear view mirror. Hinges or a ball and socket will help you adjust the viewing angle.

To avoid the power cable interfering with driving, it should run along the passenger side and preferably along the top of the windscreen; if this is not possible, then along the bottom. – dpa
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