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Why You Should Invest In A Dashcam!

Published On Dec 16, 2016 05:41 PM By Arun

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I have come across multiple people who staunchly advocate the fact that if you've managed to survive Indian roads, there's nothing across the globe that would make you flinch. Over the past decade of driving and being driven across the country, I've become a believer of that fact too. 

When you get behind the wheel next time round, take a good look at the ever changing tangibles around you. These tangibles are limited to other motorists and pedestrians in most countries. But here, in India - it is a completely different ballgame. You have to keep an eye out for a kid making a dash for his kite, a stray dog that has been shooed away by the nearby shopkeeper, a cyclist who is carrying ten times the weight of the cycle on it, and a million people who firmly believe jaywalking is a birthright. 

It is rather odd then, that dashcams haven't really caught on too much. I got my hands on one a month back, and I cannot vouch for it enough. But, before I get on to why you should get one - let's get the basics out of the way. 

What is a dashcam? 

Dash - dashboard; cam - camera. There's no rocket science here. It is a small camera that is mounted in the forward facing direction - usually on the dash or next to the internal rear view mirror. It is programmed to record everything outside the windscreen from the moment you switch your ignition on. Of course, there are multiple versions of dashcams with multiple cameras, a few with WiFi and Bluetooth for on-the-go data transfer and fancy ones with motion sensing tech too. 

For all intents and purposes, a dashcam with inbuilt GPS is all you'd need. 

Very good, but why? 

The biggest reason why you should get one - PEACE OF MIND. You can't really put a price on that, can you? There's a prevailing sense of being looked after when the dashcam in my car chirps when it is switching on. It serves as an extra pair of eyes and a brain that remembers everything that happened on my way to work and back. 

There are two upsides of having an irrefutable log of events. One, it serves as proof of whatever happened. Say you get into an unfortunate fender bender because someone decided to swerve out of their lane on a whim. Usually, you would spend the time after the accident yelling expletives at the top of your voice, explaining the purpose of indicators to the fool who swerved. With a dashcam, however, you simply retrieve the video to prove to the said fool why he/she was wrong in doing so. It also proves to be of great help when traffic cops decide to pull you over for absolutely no fault of yours, then give you absurd reasoning like 'you ran a red light', 'you were speeding' or something similar. If you have in fact done nothing wrong, the dashcam has enough to prove you innocent. Which is why we recommend a dashcam with in-built GPS, since it establishes what speeds you were doing too.

Second, fun. The roads are scary, yes. But they can be an endless source of entertainment too. There's always a quirky saying behind a cross-country goods hauler, or something amusing you've seen while driving that has to go on Facebook. Then there are amazing roadtrips that deserve a personal memoir of their own. The dashcam is a silent spectator to all of it. It lets you relive your journeys, which I think is brilliant. 

I'm not sure I'm convinced

Dashcams aren't all that expensive. A good one can set you back by roughly Rs 8k, which in today's time is easily the amount one foots for a big family dinner. The good part, is that this is pretty much a one-time investment. There are no recurring costs, whatsoever. 

Then there's the fact that the car's warranty isn't affected by the dashcam at all. Most dashcams come equipped with a plug that slots into the car's 12V outlet. You get the option of hardwiring it to the battery directly too, which we think isn't all that necessary - especially if you have safe parking at home and at the destination. In case you don't, the camera serves as a major deterrent to thieves. The ones equipped with motion sensing, switch on automatically in case it detects movement around the car. This can also be programmed to trigger the car's alarm. If that doesn't put a carjacker off, possibly nothing will. 

What's a 'good' dashcam? 

Let me save you a ton of Google searches. A 'good' dashcam is the one you can afford. Simple. Purely because having one is better than having nothing at all. As long it says 'camera', 'HD recording', 'GPS' and 'SD Card' on the box, it will do its job - no questions asked. Since it is a pretty straightforward plug and play install, you can always switch to a better one if you aren't satisfied with the output. 

There you have it. In case you've got any doubts or counter opinions, please reach out to us through the comments section.

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