My grandmother in Canada doesn't own a car and prefers car sharing. She needs dashboard cameras, as someone tried to defraud one of her friends like the following:

As CBC News reports, in at least one instance a driver's dashcam may have saved him from falling victim to insurance fraud. In that case the dashcam recorded the man's vehicle being struck, seemingly deliberately, by another vehicle. While it was impossible to say for sure in that case whether the crash was an attempt at insurance fraud, industry experts say dashcams are proving useful at protecting safe drivers against unscrupulous or dangerous motorists.

This Reddit post is 1 year old, and this 3 years.

  • I’m not sure what element of selecting a camera constitutes a life hack. Would you mind elaborating, please? – Lawrence May 30 '18 at 5:24
  • @Lawrence Dashboard cameras usually are permanent. So how can I hack this permanence? – Greek - Area 51 Proposal May 30 '18 at 5:30
  • maybe they could use a body cam like the police. – fja3omega May 30 '18 at 7:22
  • 1
    I don't think it's a lifehack, sounds more of a recommendation for a dashboard camera that can be detached easily. – arieljannai May 31 '18 at 6:11
  • 1
    @arieljannai Yes, agreed. Please see my alternate answer for a more appropriate hack. – Stan Jun 1 '18 at 0:34

A variety of dashboard cameras are available. The mounts available use adhesive for semi-permanent or a suction-cup mount is available for occasional use. Suction cups which can be "plug-'n-play" have the inconvenience of requiring the user (your grandmother) to impose on others for set-up when she is a passenger or when she rents.

All of the normal dash-cam features are identical for either windshield mount:

  • Discrete design with Superior Night Vision (1296p) and big storage
  • Features a 2" (5.08cm) screen and 160 degree recording angle for optimal viewing
  • Records in 1296P at 30FPS or an optional 1080P at 30FPS for the best definition footage
  • Includes built-in G-Sensor to automatically begin recording in the event of a collision or sudden impact
  • Features Automatic Stop/Start mode to automatically begin recording once you start driving
  • Driver Assistant Features including Stop-Sign Recognition
  • Driver-Fatigue Alarm
  • Able to record up to 64 GB for 8-10 hours before it loops over
  • Supports Micro SD Card up to 64 GB
  • OTG cable for instant access video files for Android smart devices
  • Includes: Stop and Go, Light Reminder

An "unadorned" smartphone could be "hacked" (with the right software) to record a duration; and, if nothing happens during that period roll-over to begin recording another sequence, and so on. Some apps will upload the captured sequences—date and time-stamped. Many smartphones already have a motion and position sensor in addition to accurate global position sensitivity.

Small, inexpensive, attachable, wide-angle accessory lenses are available to capture a wider point-of-view than the original fixed one.

The operator/user would start the "app" which would document everything in view and within the microphone range.

The smartphone can be held in a trim holder attached to a lanyard worn around the neck, say. Different kinds and styles of "holders" are already available with a simple web search.

This practice would also be handy if you are ever stopped since the speedometer would be visible in the recording of the driver's actions.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.