Dashboard cameras have emerged as helpful tools for police officers on patrol as well as ordinary citizens who want technology to back them up. These handy devices record a ton of information that is helpful to law enforcement, insurance companies, and the courts.
But are the speeds they record accurate? We researched dashcams from multiple professional sources, so you'll know how accurate they are.
A dash camera that uses GPS will accurately measure how fast you are driving the vehicle.
Now that we know that a dash cam can accurately read your speed, we'll take a deeper look at how this speed is captured. You might also wonder if dash cams can be used against you or if the police can check your dash cam. For the answers to these questions and more, read ahead in this post to see what our research has uncovered.
How dash cameras capture speed
Chances are, your dashcam will use GPS technology to record many different types of data. Where you've been, where you are mapped to, and how far you've driven are all tracked and recorded by the dashcam by utilizing the satellites in the sky. This same technology is also used to determine how fast your vehicle is driving.
The GPS in the camera will be able to measure how far you've gone, second by second. Using some simple math, it will determine the speed of your vehicle, displaying it on the screen. This technology is very accurate but not perfect.
Heavy tree cover, driving through some tunnels, and other circumstances might interfere with how accurately the GPS can record your speed. But all in all, it's a great measure of how much you push on your accelerator. When it comes to looking at your speed, the speedometer is still number one, however.
What are the disadvantages of a dash cam?
While dashcams can provide many advantages, there are some caveats a consumer needs to consider before purchasing and installing one of these devices. Carefully weigh the pros and the cons to see if this investment is right for you.
The principal disadvantage of a dashcam is the cost. One of these handy cameras can set you back as much as $400 for a reputable one. Some might not feel this cash outlay is worth the advantages the dashcam will possibly bring.
The dashcam might also serve as a distraction. Distracted driving is a contributing cause of auto accidents, and having a dashcam could pull some drivers' eyes off the road.
These cameras might also encourage theft, as they are usually out in the open, where a would-be thief could easily see them.
How many hours can 32GB record on a dash cam?
One of the great features of a dashcam is that it will record the data it collects. This comes in handy in case of an accident, break-in, or any number of other happenings that you might wish had gotten recorded.
How many hours a typical dashcam can store will vary based on how much memory it has installed. If it has a 32GB memory card, you can expect it to hold up to four hours worth of footage. Typically, this will be enough for most consumers. But you can always upgrade to larger memory chips.
Can dashcams be used against you?
If the dashcam is recording data, you might wonder if that data could ever be used against you. Suppose you accidentally run a stop sign and T-bone another vehicle with the right of way. If your camera has been activated, it will surely have recorded the incident.
The police and insurance companies can access your dashcam footage if they believe it holds material evidence. They will likely ask you for it, hoping you will voluntarily surrender it to them for examination. But if you refuse, they can very likely get it with a subpoena.
Dashcam footage has been used in courts to both clear and convict. If you're in an accident that is your fault and your camera captures it all, refrain from trying to delete or tamper with the footage. This could be considered an obstruction of justice and will get you into even more trouble.
Can police check your dash cam?
If the police are called to the scene of a crime or traffic accident, they will look for clues that will provide answers. With so many cameras everywhere, the footage is often used to help law enforcement piece together what happened to determine who is at fault. If you have a dashcam, expect to be asked about the footage.
Your dashcam could provide helpful insight to investigators. If the camera on your vehicle [or your exterior security camera at home] is thought to have recorded evidence of a crime, the police will want to view it. And they do have this right.
They will likely politely ask you for the footage so it can be watched. Turning it over to them voluntarily is almost always the right thing to do. If you refuse, chances are strong that they will return with a subpoena and seize the footage anyway.
Can dash cams record when the car is parked?
Dashcams can capture images that help prove your innocence in a traffic accident. But they can also be used to record video when the vehicle is stationary, maybe getting footage of a car thief or vandal. For this to happen, these cameras need to be able to record while your vehicle is parked.
Dashcams that have a parking mode can do this. Putting the dashcam in parking mode will require a power source, and you don't want to leave your car battery engaged to do this. An external power supply can be purchased for this occasion.
When using parking mode, there are several things to consider. Weigh them out carefully before you engage in this mode. It might save you a battery drain.
You want to engage parking mode for as long as you will be away from your vehicle.
Parking mode will be set with a timer on the dashcam screen. Be sure to have an idea of how long you will be away from your vehicle, and set the timer appropriately.
An external power supply might not cut it in all cases
External power supplies can be convenient for the dashcam in your vehicle. But these might not last as long as you need to. In this case, you may want to consider hardwiring your dashcam into the power supply provided by the vehicle's battery.
This will eliminate the need for the external supply and make the dashcam able to record in parking mode for much longer stretches. Just be fully aware that if you keep the dashcam in parking mode too long that it can create a phantom drain on your battery.
Older, weaker batteries might keep your vehicle from starting if it has a dashcam that has pulled juice from it for too long.
You have to remember to engage in parking mode!
Parking mode is great, but you must remember to turn it on before you exit your vehicle. The dashcam will work great while the engine is running. But once the vehicle is off, you have to activate this mode.
The models that have parking modes make it quick and easy to engage. It's typically done with the push of a couple of buttons when prompted. Follow the prompts, and you'll have this mode up in no time!
Dashcams are great little gadgets that can provide a driver with proof of no wrongdoing in the event of an accident. But the footage that they record can also be used against you if the police think that you are at fault, as they have the right to take its footage.
If you feel the investment is worth it, there are many dashcams on the market with a parking mode allowing you to record while you are away from the vehicle. Drive safe!
We're glad you made it this far! For additional information, we suggest reading the following posts:
8 Great RV Backup Cameras That Can Help You Avoid a Collision
Speedometer Not Working But Odometer Working – What's Wrong?