I am a firm believer that every vehicle that drives on the highways should have a Dash Camera installed. Regardless of what country you live in having a dashboard camera installed in your vehicle is more than a great idea and in my opinion is something that you must have! Who will be your witness in the event of an accident? You need to seriously consider installing dash cameras in your vehicles!
As for myself living here in Thailand which is ranked (depending on the source) as having either the most or second most road fatalities per 100,000 population in the world a dash cam is a necessity. Yes, Thailand roads are deadly and you take your life in your own hands each time that you take to the road. Per the World Health Organization (statistics link here) there are on average 66 highway deaths per day in Thailand. Aside from the risk of death or major bodily injury if you should be in an accident you could also face the risk of being blamed for the accident. If that happens you will face serious legal and civil liabilities that could include prison time. More often than not if there is an accident and a foreigner is involved the foreigner will be blamed! If you are blamed for an accident who will testify on your behalf to prove that it wasn't your fault? Even if this were to happen in your own country you could face the same issues! As an example let's take a look at your options should you be involved in an accident and you are accused of causing the accident!
One of the other parties that were involved in the accident
A bystander that witnessed the accident
A local traffic camera (perhaps)
Your own verbal testimony
A video recording of what took place leading up to and including the accident (recorded on your Dash Camera)
If I were in a situation where I was facing the possibility of major fines, civil suit settlements or even prison time it would be a pretty easy choice as to my preferred witness from the list above! Number five on the list is the most reliable and about as solid of a line of a defense that you will likely be able to come up with in this situation.
I have now been living in Thailand for a little more than two years. I own a pickup and drive on a daily basis. I also have experienced multiple "close calls" (almost daily) in regard to potential accidents. The most common are motorbikes pulling directly in your path without so much as looking your way. The second most common I have encountered is oncoming traffic passing on blind corners or overtaking without sufficient distance to safely do so. I often find myself steering off to the shoulder and at times off the road to avoid a head on collision.
I brought a Dash Camera with me from the States when I moved here. My first dash camera was a simple forward facing cam which stored the videos to an internal SD card. It actually worked great and I have a nice collection of of close call videos stored in my computer. I will never again drive a vehicle without having a dash camera installed. I just recently upgraded to a dual camera system that records to the front and rear of my vehicle. I love this new cam and it works like a charm. I installed it myself (about an hour and a half) and am thrilled with the quality/clarity of the videos.
As a disclaimer there are blind spots with all dash camera systems. If you only have a front facing camera then of course you won't have evidence of what takes place behind you or coming directly to the sides of your vehicle. Obviously this is better than no video at all in the event of an accident. Even with front and rear facing cameras (such as I have) your sides are not covered by the videos but frankly if something comes tearing in and hits me solid in the side of my vehicle that in itself should be proof enough that I didn't cause the accident unless my front facing camera shows me blowing through a red light or stop sign. Be aware that this article is in no way legal advice and even with a dash camera there is no guarantee that you will be vindicated in the event of an accident!
There are a multitude of dash camera options available now and so many places where they can be purchased. I purchased my first Dash Camera back in the States at my local Costco and was quite happy with it. I purchased my current camera at a "variety" store here in Thailand and am very pleased with this camera as well. You will find a couple of dash camera links at the end of this article that you are welcome to click on and explore. I don't endorse any specific camera although I do highly recommend that you buy a camera system that has the features that I have listed below.
Dash Camera Features
Full HD 1080 P
170 degree Wide Angle View ( a 150 is ok but I prefer the better coverage with the 170)
Front facing camera
Image recording to an SD card with at least 64 GB Memory (mine has a 128 GB capability)
Loop recording (when memory card is full it records over oldest files first)
Dual Cameras (Front & Rear facing cameras)
Internal GPS (stamps speed and location into your videos) (best not be speeding with this one)
G-Sensor (saves & locks file after impact is detected)
(Back to the original question)
Dash Camera - Ask Yourself "Do I need one" ?
My personal answer is a solid YES!
You should buy the Best Dash Cam 2018 version that fits your budget
Don't place your finances and possibly your freedom at risk for the sake of an investment of between $50 and $200... !
I will no longer drive without one...
Shopping from Thailand or other locations in SE Asia? Consider searching Lazada!
A little bit about us!
I'm an American and my wife is Thai. We live in a rural farming community that is in the "Isaan" region of Northeast Thailand. We are slowly getting to know other couples (Expat/Thai) in our area and it is quite clear that we are not alone in our way of thinking and joy of a simple lifestyle. Our lifestyle living in the Isaan region is nothing like what most "foreigners" perceive as a Thai lifestyle. When most people think of living in Thailand they think of places like Phuket, Pattaya or Bangkok and a life of beaches, booze, women and parties. That lifestyle may be great for some but for us we prefer the more family oriented rural living. My recent article "The Cost of Living in Thailand" gives you a peek into our Isaan lifestyle and what it cost us on on a monthly basis to live here. We look forward to getting to know more of our followers so please be sure to sign up for the MAILING LIST so that you will receive notifications when new articles and website updates take place.
Feel free to contact us via the CONTACT FORM if you have any comments or questions.
We also have several very beautiful IMAGE GALLERIES that are loaded with photos from Thailand and other locations around the globe. All photos are original images that I have taken during the course of years of international travel.
Thank You for stopping by! Ken, Rose & Plammy...