You can never be too safe when you’re on the highway, especially when it comes to today’s massive modern freeways and interstate, which sometimes have many lanes in each direction. According to many studies, an average of 1.25 million people is killed in severe vehicle accidents every year. You have roughly a 1 in 572 chance of being involved in a crash in the United States alone. With that said, one of the best things you can do to protect yourself in the event of a collision is to have a dash camera installed in your vehicle.
Not only could this protect you in the event of an at-fault accident, but you could also end up protecting other people involved as well! Today, many people are using name-brand GoPro cameras in their vehicles as dash cams. While a GoPro may be a good way to capture video while you’re on the road, using a camera specifically designed for this purpose is significantly more efficient. In the following article, we’ll be taking a look at the pros and cons of installing a GoPro versus using a traditional dashcam in your vehicle.
THE IMPORTANCE OF USING A DASH CAMERA
I’d like you to close your eyes for just a second and imagine the following scenario:
It’s a bright, sunny day, with blue skies as far as the eye can see, and you’re cruising down the highway at exactly the speed limit. You have your seat belt on, your license in your pocket; the car is insured. You’re literally doing everything right, minding your own business, and driving safely home from work on a Tuesday afternoon. The light is green, and there’s no need to slow down. But as you approach the intersection, you see a car coming from the adjacent direction. It doesn’t seem to be slowing down. You slam the breaks, but it’s too late. The impact sends your car spinning across the road and into a street sign. You open your eyes, dazed but uninjured.
As you turn your head to see what just took place, you catch only the back end of the other vehicle, spinning the tires and speeding away from the accident scene. You don’t catch the make or model of the vehicle. As nobody else saw the accident happen, there’s absolutely no way to identify or catch whoever committed the hit and run. This quick scene helps to illustrate the importance of having a dashcam in your vehicle. Even if you’re unable to see what happened during an accident, your camera will. Increasingly, we’re seeing people use GoPros in their vehicles. While this will capture footage while driving, there are several reasons for using a dedicated dashcam is the better choice. Let’s take a look at why.
GOPRO VS. DASH CAMS: THE ULTIMATE SHOWDOWN
Essentially, a GoPro is a small, compact digital camera capable of taking some of the best POV shots imaginable. These compact devices are waterproof, practically indestructible, and feature image sensors, built-in processors, ultra-wide-angle lenses, as well as 3 separate mics for audio recording. The company’s CEO initially designed the GoPro to capture images and footage of himself surfing. Today, GoPros are used by all sorts of people for all sorts of reasons. Still, that doesn’t mean that these small, innovative cameras are the best choice to use as a dashcam. In fact, GoPros were mainly designed to be worn while doing physical activities or extreme sports and are mainly targeted at athletes or adventurers. Therefore, they’re not designed to be used as a dashcam. And because of this, they represent many inconveniences, making them less than ideal for use in your vehicle. Let's re-imagine the previous scenario, but say that you did have a camera installed, a GoPro. As they are built for outdoor use, your GoPro would be designed for a bumpy ride and would not think of this incident as anything out of the ordinary. This incident would be added to the current however-long video it was working on right then.
The biggest difference between a GoPro and a dashcam is the G-Sensor. A dash camera has a G-Sensor that identifies when an accident or other significant shock has occurred and creates a small video file, securing that footage with a few moments on either side from being overwritten by more data. This makes it easy to manage and retain important footage. As another example, you’ll need to manually turn on your GoPro device every time you want to record yourself while driving. This might only seem like a minor inconvenience. But we’re all human, and we’re all prone to forgetfulness from time to time. In other words, you’re almost guaranteed to forget to hit the power button occasionally. And, can you imagine how devastating it could be to end up getting into a motor vehicle accident the “one time” you forgot to turn the camera on? A GoPro camera also doesn’t have a very long battery life, so you’re either going to have to plug it in to keep it charged constantly, or you’re likely to occasionally run out of battery life, potentially missing out on capturing the footage of your next trip.
Many mounts for GoPro's are built for helmets or handlebars and do not have ports to allow them to constantly be charged, which would render the waterproofing features useless. On the other hand, dashcams are actually designed to be in your vehicle, so they’ll typically use your vehicle’s electrical system as their main source of power. Because of this, a dedicated dashcam will power up automatically as soon as you turn over the ignition. Although they are waterproof, GoPros are not designed to be exposed to the elements for extended periods of time. By keeping one in your vehicle, which will often see fluctuations in temperature, your GoPro is likely to end up breaking or malfunctioning over time. Operating in the heat has proven to be troublesome, with GoPro's being designed to shut down if their massive processing power is causing overheating. Finally, one other reason that a GoPro does not make a good dashcam is that these devices are very well-known virtually everywhere you go. In other words, you’ll essentially be attracting the attention of thieves and criminals and making it more likely that your vehicle will be targeted at some point.
So what are the best dash cameras on the market today? Let’s take a quick look at two of the best dashcams we currently have for sale.
THE BEST DASHCAM'S AVAILBLE TODAY
As one of our best dash cams, the N2 Pro has not one but two fully functioning cameras built into a single, small and compact unit. The secondary camera can also be flipped around, providing a simple and quick way to switch between a front-facing shot and capturing footage of the vehicle's interior. The dual camera has a suction cup fitting, which can easily attach to any vehicle's windshield. If you want to capture clearer, sharper images, you’ll also have the option to solely use the front-facing camera, capable of recording in 1440P resolution. On top of all this, the N2 Pro is also equipped with a 1.5” LCD screen, which makes it extremely easy to review the footage you’ve recorded. The screen is even capable of a picture-in-picture display, which will let you review footage from both cameras simultaneously. This dashcam is powered by your vehicle’s cigarette lighter, which will charge the battery in as little as 15 minutes. Furthermore, having this plugged into your vehicle ensures that your camera will automatically start recording as soon as the ignition is turned over.
If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line dashcam, look no further than the 4K Ultra Dashcam with built-in GPS. The main feature of this industry-leading dashcam is its 2560x1600, 4K resolution. And on top of being capable of recording at 30 frames per second, this unit features a built-in GPS, which will log your trips and destinations wherever you go. The 4K Ultra also has the capability to record audio from inside your vehicle, as well as being able to sense sudden shocks, such as a collision, by using its innovative G-sensor. Just keep in mind that this unit does not have a built-in battery, so it will need to stay plugged in at all times. Fortunately, it comes with a 4-meter power cable, which gives you the ability to run it alongside and under your dash, keeping it hidden out of sight. All video is captured and stored on a Micro SD Card, capable of storing up to 24 hours of footage in 4K resolution. You can easily remove the SD Card from the device and save, review, or delete footage from your computer.
ADD SAFETY AND PIECE-OF-MIND TO YOUR VEHICLE WITH A DEDICATED DASHCAM
In today’s hectic world, you just can’t put a price on you or your families’ personal safety. Unfortunately, we live in a world where the odds are working against us, and it’s not always just a matter of “if”; it’s often a matter of “when” something bad is going to happen while driving. With an estimated 2.35 million people injured or disabled every single year in car accidents, you’re better off not taking any chances. Therefore, it’s best to install a dedicated dashcam in your vehicle, and rest assured knowing that you and your family are as safe as can be while on the road.