Dashcams (I call them "crash cams" because so many videos show drivers doing so many asinine things) can actually come in very handy by doing things like:

  • Providing evidence in an accident.
  • Recording risky drivers.
  • Proving who robbed your car.
  • Protecting you from insurance fraud.

What to buy

Low-end, single-channel (forward-facing) cams can cost as little as $50, with high-enders at around $400. Dual-channel (front- and rear-facing) cams go for $100-$400.

Must-have features

  • At least 1080p resolution.
  • Loop recording to erase old footage when the memory’s full.
  • G-sensor: Triggered by impact, it keeps footage from being overwritten.
  • Auto on/off.
  • Date and time stamp (for court).

John Dinkel is an auto engineer and lifelong racer. Follow him on Twitter.