Top tips for optimising your dash cam usage

Written by: Simon Pavey, Last updated:4th August 2021

Dash cam in interior of vehicle at night

With many drivers now reaping the benefits of a dash cam, it appears that their popularity is only set to increase. There are a number of advantages of this technology, but how can you ensure that you are making the most out of a dashboard camera?

What is a dash cam?

A dash cam is a camera that is mounted onto the dashboard of your vehicle (as the name suggests). They can be installed to draw power from your vehicle. However, some also have a battery or capacitor to ensure the files save properly when the power is disconnected.

The idea behind these cameras is that any incidents will be recorded. This footage can be used as evidence for any legal disputes, or more commonly can be used to bolster an insurance claim.

In fact, insurers offer reduced premiums when you state that you have a dash cam installed. It’s argued that the presence of the camera also encourages safer driving.

How to optimise your camera usage

Find the best placement

Position your camera as close to the middle of the dashboard as possible. This way, the camera will record an accurate view of the road ahead. If it’s badly positioned, the footage may be missing some crucial information.

If the camera was on the left hand side of the dashboard for example, and another driver hit you from the right, there’d be no footage of the incident.

To further optimise your camera’s view, it’s recommended that you place it as high as possible.

Be conscious of glare

On a similar note, pointing the camera too far upwards can create some problems too. The brightness from the sun can cause the camera to overcompensate and bring the overall light levels of the footage down. This means the sky will look normal whilst everything else will be too dark. In this case, the events in the footage may not be visible and rendered useless.

Make sure your camera is pointed directly forwards so the road ahead is in view – do not point it upwards at all.

Keep your windscreen clean!

It might seem obvious, but clean your windscreen often! You’d surely kick yourself if your camera would have captured the incident if it weren’t for a dirty smudge you’d neglected to clean for weeks!

Dirt on the window in front of the lens could also cause your camera to focus on the wrong thing. If this were to happen, your footage might consist of one very clear speck of dirt and a blurry accident in the background that you can’t quite make out.

On a similar note, during unpleasant weather, ensure your wipers are working well. They’ll need to be wiping the water off the windscreen quickly. Otherwise, you’ll have the same issues as you would if the window was dirty.

Female hands adjusting a dash cam in the interior of a car

Get a memory card with plenty of storage

To get the best evidence of any incidents, it’s obviously best to set your dash cam to record at the highest quality. However, higher quality recordings will take up more storage in your memory card. Therefore, it makes sense to find a memory card with a decent amount of storage.

Luckily, the average card size as been increasing over time. A 16GB or 32GB card will be more reasonably priced than it would have been a few years ago.

There are plenty of SD cards that will integrate perfectly with your system. Whilst the cards with higher storage will be more expensive, they could definitely save you money further down the line.

Are dash cams worth it?

Having footage of an accident is becoming more valuable every year. AA claim that having a camera installed “could be the answer to settling insurance disputes and claims”.

Consider that the price of a dashboard camera could be as little as £25 depending on the model. For such a small price, you could be making huge savings.

For example, if you were involved in an incident where another driver drove into your vehicle, you’d be pretty concerned about the insurance implications. But, since you’ve got a recording of the incident, you may not need to worry!

Since dash cam footage is becoming accepted by a growing number of insurers, they are definitely worth having one installed. In the above example, you could submit the footage of the incident and there would be no doubt that it was the other driver who was at fault. Their insurer would have to pay for the damages, whilst you could keep your no claims discount.

With that in mind, we would argue getting a camera installed is definitely worth the investment.

Could installing a dash cam help your fleet?

We know that being able to record incidents can be great for your finances. Having a camera installed on each of your fleet’s vehicles seems like a no-brainer!

Take a look at the Tele-Gence team’s wide range of hardware, including cameras and other useful equipment that is designed to increase the efficiency and safety of your fleet’s day to day operations. Get in touch with our expert team today, and we’ll have you saving in no time.