Long story short: the evolution of dash cams

By January 1, 2021 No Comments

Dash cams make a lot of sense. Not only does it provide strong and convincing evidence in the case of an accident, protecting drivers from vandalism, insurance scams, and thieves, but also can be used to capture good times and unexpected moments. You may find tons of crazy videos captured by dash cams unexpectedly, such as a giant meteor crashing into earth, and all types of incredible accidents. If there were no dash cams, we would probably never see these videos in our lives.

U.S. Law enforcement

first dash camHere comes the question. How did dash cams gradually embraced with open arms by the drivers? The invention of dash cam can be traced back to 1939. A popular science article featured a police officer mounting a camera on his dashboard in 1939. And it gradually became more and more popular over the decades. Then in the 1980s, dashcams were funded to be widely used in law enforcement and insurance companies have also pitched in. These earliest car cameras were not as small and sleek as today’s cameras, but they are of great help in helping police officers depicting crime scenes.

Becoming increasingly prevalent amongst Russian drivers

The regulation was passed to allow people to install dash cams in their vehicle in 2009 due to the surging amount of insurance scams and police corruption committed in the country. People choose to use dash cam videos to protect themselves against false accusations and unlawful police brutality. In 2013, over a million Russian drivers were reported to have at least dash cams in their vehicle and the number continues to increase now. Meanwhile, tons of dash cam videos recording car accidents, bizarre natural disasters, close calls, instant karmas, and attempts at insurance fraud have been uploaded to social media platforms, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and etc.

Becoming popular worldwide

Thanks to the growing popularity of Russian videos, drivers around the world have realized the importance and usefulness of dashcams in recording driving experience and defending against vandalism and scams. Sales increased by 918% in the UK and 200% in the US in 2013 and have been surging since then. Dash cam footage gives drivers, law enforcement, and insurance providers better clarity on how accidents happen. Now, over 30 UK insurance companies offer a discount that is up to 12.5% to motorists who install a dash camera. In the states, even though installing a dash cam can’t help you reduce insurance costs, it does help ease the progress of insurance claims.


The violation of privacy has long been the biggest issue that concerned the buyers. Dash cams sometimes may record without people’s permission, such as the license plate of other cars and a private conversation that happened in a taxi or a ride-share vehicle. Due to privacy concerns, dash cams are unlawful in some countries. Even in the United States, the regulation of dash cams varies from state to state. Many states require car owners to put a notice in the visible area in the vehicle if they use an in-cabin dash cam. So please make sure you know your state’s regulation towards in-cabin dash cams before your purchase.

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