Why you should invest in a dash cam

Because I’m a tight-wad, I paid a mere £8.46 for a dash cam. The resulting product, unsurprisingly, is a piece of crap. The low-light performance is appalling, the build quality is flaky, the rear LCD panel doesn’t always illuminate and despite the “HD” promise, the 640×480 video reproduction is… rubbish.

You get what you pay for sometimes, and I have to admit that I royally messed up. I bought it when the Citroen C3 went back – that had a great camera inside. This, however… this.. random un-branded “thing” is nothing short of terrible. Do not buy it. Pay more. Get a better one.

Anyway, if you do quite a bit of driving, I’d definitely recommend getting a dash cam. There’s cash-for-crash people out there who’ll “create” events in front of you, causing you to crash. There’s also down-right dangerous drivers who, due to the diminishing blue line, tend to get away with really bad driving.

Today I was testing the camera. I had literally connected it up this morning and I’d not even had chance to read the confusingly-cryptic manual. The result was that I somehow chopped off the end of this footage, instead of storing it.

Here’s the result, oh and apologies in advance for the bit of text on the screen which doesn’t make sense.

The first car, a red Volvo, was in lane three and cut in front of a car in lane 2. I spotted him undertaking and ensured there was a big gap as I figured he was going to do something stupid. He jumped in front of me before going off into the distance and almost causing an accident by sliding straight out into lane 3 again. You can just see the brake lights in the distance.

I thought it was just one nutter, but suddenly it became clear that I was caught in the middle of some sort of road rage incident. What was weird about it was that I noticed this big Landrover sitting in lane 2 in my mirror but he was sitting back, driving quite sensibly. Nothing made me think he was going to do what he did.

So thanks Mr Landrover Sport, registration JU54 WAR (with illegally spaced plate), you very nearly caused a massive accident. If I hadn’t swerved into the hard shoulder you would’ve whacked into my front-end and probably hit the car in lane 2. Dangerous. Idiotic. Stupid.

If, and I really don’t know how he didn’t, but if he had hit me, it would’ve been this footage which would be the insurance evidence. It would prove, beyond all doubt, who was at fault. Nowadays a lot of people are simply unable to accept blame or accept they’re at fault, so a small gadget behind your mirror could prove invaluable.

Update – After taking the microSD card out of my ultra-cheap dash cam, it now completely refuses to turn on. Don’t buy this camera, it’s terrible and is heading for the bin after just one day!