Got in a crash but need video proof? Dash cams offer the answer.

Dash cam usage in the United States has slowly increased in the last five years, allowing drivers to record video of their day-to-day drives in their vehicles. This ability becomes particularly useful when one is involved in a crash.

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Local drivers have taken to installing dash cams in their cars. Photo credit: Sunny Mallick

Local drivers have taken to installing dash cams in their cars. A Weber State University student, Jackson Lee, installed a dash cam into his Ford Focus to protect himself in case of an accident.

Same with Andres Cachú, who shares a similar consensus with Lee. Cachú installed a dash cam in his Chrysler Sebring two years ago.

“I’ve recorded people cutting me off on the freeway,” Cachú said.

Both Cachú and Lee agree that every driver on the road should have a dash cam.

A dash cam is a small camera mounted to the windshield of a vehicle by a suction cup or rubber sticky mount. They come in many different configurations, from either a single camera located at the front, to multiple cameras for simultaneous recording between the front and rear of the vehicle.

They are usually powered by batteries, but when a dash cam is plugged into the 12-volt power outlet, they have the capability of turning on automatically when the vehicle is started.

Based on the camera equipped, they can record in three, five and 10 minute loops and can store footage for a number of days, depending on the memory card storage. Most also feature a G-Sensor, which can sense when the vehicle has been impacted during an accident.

Another notable feature is motion detection, which will detect any motion around the front of the car and begin recording. The camera will automatically “lock” this footage, allowing the driver to view the film at a later time.

“Dash cams can give drivers additional peace of mind,” Johan-Till Broer, Garmin public relations manager, said in an interview with Cars.com.

The popularity of dash cams has grown, also partly due to the reasonable prices for them. They can be found on online retail sites such as Amazon for $60. More expensive models cost around $150.

Videos of accidents and near-misses have risen in popularity on YouTube, garnering hundreds of thousands of views. Channels such as “Bad Drivers of Utah” focus solely on dash cam footage of near-misses and accidents on Utah roads.

The usage has not matched that of Russia, where thousands of motorists have equipped their vehicles with dash cams due to severe driving conditions and increasing insurance fraud cases.

This technology can be useful for any driver, especially those who drive significantly or for those who have a long commute. They can be installed easily and help a driver out in the occurrence of an accident.

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