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Dash cam

Safe driving technology.

Learn how dash cameras can keep you safe on the road.

Dash cam overview

Dash cams are becoming increasingly popular in the United States for a variety of reasons, including increasing concerns over safety and accountability and a desire to share all of our moments, including the crazy things that happen while we're on the road.

So, what is a dash cam? In a nutshell, it's a camera that attaches to your vehicle's dash or windshield and constantly records your journey. Usually it records traffic ahead of you, but some models can be turned to the interior of the car, while others can record front- and rear-facing simultaneously. A dash cam is usually quite small, around the size of a radar detector, so it won't interfere with your windshield's field of vision.

Many dash cams have built-in GPS navigation systems that link your route to the video. Dash cams can usually be powered using your car's DC power, a USB port, and/or an internal battery. While on-board storage varies and can be augmented with SIM cards, most have a flash memory that is regularly overwritten as it gets full.

Why you should buy a dash cam

If you want to document anything that happens while you're driving, invest in a dash cam. When you are the driver, it's unsafe (and illegal in many states) to grab your smartphone to record an accident or incident you encounter on the road, including road rage, a reckless or distracted driver or an animal sighting. A dash cam documents this for you automatically.

And dash cams can be as fun as they are functional. If you take road trips, you can augment your vacation photos and video clips with snippets taken from your dash cam. There's no better way to get the whole, unvarnished picture of both the boredom and the silliness you experienced on the trip — and you'll have hours of footage to use. Plus, you'll be able to document that crazy wild critter that dashed across the road in front of your car.

Since many dash cams attach to your windshield with a suction cup, you can easily move it out of your car into the center of the action. Move your dash cam to your picnic pavilion to document a family outing, or take it on your next golf trip.

Basic features

Most dash cams will automatically turn on and start recording when you start your vehicle, and they will turn off when you park. Or you may turn the camera back on using a parking function to monitor activity around your car from afar using your smartphone.

G-sensor capabilities or an accelerometer lets your dash cam recognize sudden activity and automatically save and lock the video file. Footage will be locked starting a few seconds before the incident (or accident) until a set period of time after the event, ensuring it won't be overwritten.

Most dash cams can record both video and audio, and some let you either turn the camera to record inside your car, or record front-facing and rear-facing simultaneously. Others come with auxiliary backup cams to install at the rear of your vehicle. Some models offer LCD touch screens, so you can see the footage as it's recorded and replay it on the device itself.

Upgrade options

If you spend a lot of time in your car or have specialized needs, consider upgrading to a dash cam with advanced features. A dashboard camera with 360° functionality will simultaneously record the road ahead, the lanes next to you, and inside your vehicle. If you drive at night, you might want a model that offers superior night vision recording. Some cameras will integrate automatically with your smartphone, making it easy to download and review footage. And a camera with voice-activated functions can keep your attention focused on the road instead of the camera, helping you drive more safely.

Geek Squad® installation

If you want to minimize or hide your dash cam's power cord, consider scheduling an autotech consultation to discover your options for having it professionally installed. You can then schedule a dash cam installation, which includes camera mounting, routing of power wires behind factory trim panels, connection to a power source and a demonstration of your camera's functionality.

Our Geek Squad Autotechs are Mobile Electronics Certified Professionals, which means your vehicle will be worked on by a qualified industry expert. Find a Best Buy store with an installation center near you.