Dashcam footage – Source: Pixabay.com
Dash cams are no longer a gadget preserved for the geekier drivers among us. They’ve become a mass-market product, as millions of drivers in America and around the world fit them into their cars. Initially seen as a great way to capture unusual events on the road and record exciting road trips, many drivers now view dashcams as a tool for gathering evidence surrounding an accident.
You must gather as much evidence to back up your position when your car or truck accident case has to go through settlement negotiations or trial, according to hasnerlaw.com. But, a dashcam’s role in a legal case is only as good as the quality and dependability of the footage it captures. Here are four tips to get dashcam footage you can rely on in your time of legal need.
Place it in the Center
Placing a dashcam on either end of the windshield can provide a breathtaking point-of-view illusion and some beautiful cinematography. But that’s likely not the reason you fitted a dashcam. Having the cam at one corner of the windshield inevitably creates a blind spot on that side of the car.
Your goal is to capture the widest and most balanced field of view as possible on both sides. Thus, the cam should be positioned in the center of the windshield. Align it with the rearview mirror’s mounting. That way, the video will have as much information from the right side of the road, as it does from the left.
Focus on the Road
A few years ago, the internet was awash with dramatic dashcam footage from Russia that caught a meteor shower. While it’s a spectacular sight, you should never install a dashcam in the hope of recording what is going on in the sky. Ergo, the cam should focus on events on the road.
There will be some sky in your camera view since you’ll want to capture things going on at least a couple of hundreds of meters ahead of you. Still, keep the sky at no more than a third of the view’s upper part. Reducing how much room the sky takes up on the screen is not just about focusing on the goings-on on the road. It also minimizes glare that can create excessive light in your videos, thus darkening everything else.
Tweak the Video’s Frame Rate and Pixel Resolution
Like any other camera, the quality of dashcam footage is dependent on multiple factors, such as frame rate, pixel resolution, ambient light, and movement/shock sensors. Many of today’s dash cams allow you to alter the camera’s internal settings.
For example, you can choose between a range of resolution options, including QVGA, VGA, SVGA, HD 720, and HD 1080. Most cams come with a standard frame rate of 30 fps, though higher-end ones ship with 48 fps and 60 fps. A higher resolution and frame rate results in a more clear video. The sharper videos, though, mean larger files, so you have to expand your storage accordingly.
Clean the Windshield
Not everything about improving the quality of dashcam footage is technical. You may have enhanced the cam’s settings and positioned it as recommended. But the cam sits behind your windshield to protect it from the elements, such as rain and dust. Therefore, the state of the windshield is critical.
If you do not clean the windshield, you’ll be stuck with video marred by uneditable, non-removable smudges that could be challenged in court. Worse still, the cam may auto-adjust and auto-focus on the dirt blotches, thereby relegating the action on the road to the background. So, make sure your windshield is always clean. Even when you don’t have time for a car wash, stop and wipe the windshield each time you notice some dirt that could interfere with the dashcam’s view.
Whether it’s to provide crucial evidence in a vehicle accident case or to document memorable events during your journeys, use these tips to get the most out of your dashcam footage.