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Where to Mount a Dash Cam —Best Places to Install

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Key Takeaways

  • Mount on the windshield for an unobstructed view, ensuring it doesn’t block the driver’s sight, following state guidelines.
  • Place on the dashboard for minimal obstruction, suitable where windshield mounting is restricted, but may reduce coverage.
  • Install in the rear windshield for rear view coverage, useful for parking and capturing rear incidents, considering vehicle type.
  • Adhere to state laws for dash cam placement to ensure safety and legal compliance, avoiding windshield obstructions where prohibited.

You can mount your dash cam on the car’s windshield or dashboard. Besides giving an unobstructed view of the road ahead, the windshield allows you to record both the inside and outside of the vehicle.

The dashboard might reduce your camera’s coverage area, but it allows clear recording of the car’s lane.

Different states impose distinct rules concerning dash cam installation. For instance, you may not mount a dash cam on the driver’s windshield in Alabama to prevent the blockage of your field of view.

We created a guide to help you understand more about where to mount the dash cam for maximum visibility and high-quality video footage.

Best 3 Spots to Mount Dash Cams

To ensure your dash cam serves you better, you’ll need to identify an ideal installation spot. Here are the best spots in most vehicles:

1. Windshield

The most ideal place to mount a dash cam is in the windshield, behind the rearview mirror. The position provides a clear, eye-level view of the road with minimal obstruction.

For instance, your car’s rearview mirror location is already obstructed by the mirror itself, so your dash cam will remain out of your sightline and yet reachable.

Mounting your dash cam on the windshield allows it to efficiently capture critical driving events in the vehicle’s lane and the surrounding area.

It’s also easy to detach the camera from the windshield because it’s a flat surface.

However, dash cam wires touching any part of your car may impede basic driver functions like wiper operation.

You must exercise caution during the installation process to ensure you don’t block the driver’s field of view. You don’t need to see the camera while driving since it produces a sound after starting or stopping the vehicle to alert you it’s functioning.

Also, consider using a suction cup mount, as it lets you remove, reposition, and reattach your camera.

2. Dashboard

You may place your mini dash cam at the dashboard’s center, next to the rearview mirror’s mounting point. This spot positions the dash cam closer to your eye level and avoids windshield glare interference.

You won’t notice your dash cam’s presence on the dashboard because it doesn’t obstruct your field of view.

However, mounting a camera there makes it vulnerable to movements, especially when you take sharp corners or apply emergency brakes.

To guarantee appropriate installation, make sure there are no obstacles like sunshades or dots blocking the camera. Ensure your dash cam is mounted at a 120- to 140-degree angle to allow the capturing of videos with a bigger view of the road.

If you’re going to do any hardwiring, you’ll need to find a fuse box that’s consistent with your dash cam’s power ratings.

3. Rear Windshield

If you’re installing a rear camera, the ideal spot is inside the rear windshield, preferably positioned near the top center. This offers a clear perspective of the road behind you.

You may also position your dash cam on the dashboard facing behind. That provides a distinct perspective, and it’s an ideal option if your car’s back windshield has a tint.

A rear dash cam is a great parking assistant because it offers a clear view of the behind, preventing accidents. However, wiring in this spot might present difficulties depending on the type of car you drive.

For instance, if you own a coupe, truck, or sedan, your back windscreen can’t move, but if you have a van, SUV, or hatchback, the rear window does move up and down.

You should ascertain that your rear dash cam isn’t blocking the driver’s view or interfering with your car’s safety features.

If you’re content with a tiny power cable hanging between the liftgate and headliner, ensure there’s sufficient length of it outside the headliner. This lets your rear dash cam remain connected to the power source cable after opening the rear door. 

Laws Regarding Dash Cam Placement

When installing a dash cam in your vehicle, you’ll want to comply with your state and local laws.

Relevant regulations aim to ensure safe driving conditions by avoiding unnecessary driver distraction or hazardous mounting methods.

Many states, including Alaska, Arizona, and California, prohibit mounting dash cams on the dashboard if they obstruct the driver’s view of the road.

Only transparent, non-reflective items can be attached above the dashboard and below the bottom edge of the rearview mirror.

Some states, such as Alabama and Rhode Island, restrict the mounting of any accessories on the windshield. This aims to keep dash cams outside central fields of vision.

Benefits of Having a Dash Cam

Here are some advantages of mounting a dash cam on your vehicle:

  • Evidence in Accidents: Having evidence can help protect you against an accident that’s not your fault. If another driver hits your vehicle, a recording clearly documenting the events leading up to the crash can support your case or insurance claims.
  • Documenting Road Conditions: Your dash cam passively records your daily driving experiences. This creates a helpful log of overall traffic, accident scenes you pass, dangerous road segments, construction zone changes, and other roadway conditions.
  • Personal Security: A dash cam functions as an extra security eye, potentially deterring or documenting criminal behavior that targets your vehicle. For instance, if someone attempts to break into your unattended vehicle or vandalize it, the visibility of a dash cam may convince them to back off.
  • Parking Protection: Certain dash cam models come with a parking mode that helps record movement or impact when your car is parked. If anyone dents your doors or bumps your vehicle, pulling in or out, the dash cam can capture visual evidence.

How Can You Choose a Good Dash Cam?

Selecting a good dash cam entails considering different factors to guarantee that you settle for one that meets your requirements.

Here are a few helpful tips:

  • Low-Light Performance: If you mostly travel during the dark, prioritize features such as high dynamic range to improve picture clarity in different environments.
  • Video Quality: Settle for a dash cam that records videos in high resolution, ideally 1080p or more. A camera producing high-quality videos is important for documenting essential details while you’re driving.
  • G-Sensor: A camera’s built-in G-sensor helps detect sudden impacts or motions and automatically saves and locks the footage.
  • Loop Recording: A dash cam’s loop recording helps overwrite old footage when the memory card runs out of space, ensuring uninterrupted recording.
  • Global Positioning System (GPS): Certain dash cams include a GPS feature that adds speed and location information to your footage. You may use that information to verify speed or track your route.
  • Wi-Fi: Certain dash cams have a Wi-Fi feature that allows you to connect them to your phone and view things in real-time, adjust settings, or download videos.

Final Thoughts

Choosing an ideal spot for dash cam installation is important because placement impacts its efficiency.

Whether you’ll install your hidden dash cam on the dashboard or windshield depends on your personal preferences and state and local laws.

Ensure your dash cam is securely mounted, lies in the right angle, and doesn’t obstruct the driver’s field of view.

With proper placement, a dash camera can offer valuable protection and evidence for insurance claims, providing extra peace.

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