No Uber or Lyft driver should be on the road without a dash cam. In addition to giving you evidence if you get into an accident or road rage incident, they can also protect you from false allegations by passengers. Before buying a dash cam, it’s important to understand when and how you can use it. Then you can research the different models and prices and see which one is best for you.
Why should drivers have a dash cam?
There are many types of incidents that can happen while you’re working, including accidents, crimes, and false accusations. The dash cam provides proof of what happened and avoids any he-said, she-said situations.
While it can be expensive to buy a dash cam, they can save you a lot of money when something goes wrong. A dash cam could be the difference between keeping or losing your job. It could also mean the difference between paying a lawsuit or having the other person pay you.
If you get into an accident without a dash cam, it’s often your word against the other driver’s. In some accidents, it’s obvious to the police what happened. More often, the police have no way of knowing whose light was green or who was changing lanes if both drivers give different stories.
If you’re found at fault for an accident, it’s not just the other driver you have to worry about. Your passenger may also try to sue you for their injuries.
The dash cam lets the police, insurance companies, and courts see the accident for themselves.
Drivers should be aware of passenger behavior. There are many videos online of passengers becoming violent or making threats when they don’t get their way.
A dash cam acts as a deterrent to violent behavior because people are more likely to behave themselves when they know they’re being recorded.
It’s common for both men and women to face sexual harassment by drivers. While sexual harassment towards women gets more attention, drunk women can be a problem for men who drive, especially if people assume the man was trying to take advantage.
The best-case scenario is that the dash cam discourages this type of behavior. If not, your video will show the truth of what happened.
There have also been incidents where passengers have made false claims of racial or other types of discrimination. Often, the real reason was that the passenger insisted on being picked up somewhere the driver couldn’t legally stop, so the driver left.
While passengers may not know you have a dash cam if they say you didn’t pick them up because of discrimination, a dash cam will show exactly what you were looking at and the real reason you didn’t stop.
While most rideshare payments are in apps, thieves may not know this. They may also be after cash tips, the driver’s phone, or even their car.
Robbers know that a camera means there is a higher chance of them being caught. Even if they take the camera, many cameras store the footage in the cloud. If someone does rob you, the police will have the evidence they need.
Can you write your dash cam off on your taxes?
You may be able to claim your dash cam as a deductible business expense if you only use it for business purposes. To learn more about deducting a dash cam, check out these tax guides for Uber, Lyft, other rideshare drivers, and delivery drivers.
Are you allowed to have a dash cam?
Dash cams are both allowed and even encouraged by most ridesharing platforms. They are also generally allowed under the law, although there are a few requirements and restrictions you need to be aware of.
Are dash cams legal?
Dash cams are legal to some degree in all states. However, you need to research the laws for any state you drive in. If you drive into another state, that state’s laws about dash cams apply even if your car is registered in another state.
Here are some things to look out for.
- Where you can put your dash cam. Some states don’t allow your dash cam to be on your windshield at all. Others require certain positioning, such as behind your rearview mirror so it doesn’t reduce your view.
- What to do with your dash cam’s wire. You may be fine with having the wire hanging down, but some states consider this an obstructed view. You may need to have it routed around the edge of your windshield or dashboard.
- What warnings you need to give passengers of video recording. In some states, the camera being in plain view is enough. In others, you may need signs or stickers. Some states may not require warnings since your car isn’t private, but it’s still a good idea.
- Audio recording laws. Audio recording laws are much stricter and have serious consequences if you break them. Some states are considered two-party states meaning your passenger must give permission for audio recording. In some of these states, a sign that they consent to being recorded isn’t enough, and they have to actually give permission verbally in writing. In a one-party state, you can record as long as either you or your passenger wants to record, and you may not need to tell the passenger.
What is Uber’s policy on dash cams?
Uber allows dash cams and reminds drivers to know and follow their local laws.
Uber’s policies prohibit drivers from sharing dash cam videos on the internet or social media without a passenger’s consent. This applies even if it would otherwise be allowed by law. While there are many drivers that do it, Uber may deactivate your account if you violate this policy.
What is Lyft’s policy on dash cams?
Lyft does not expressly say dash cams are allowed but tells drivers to check their local laws. Lyft prohibits sharing any recordings without the passenger’s express consent.
Will you get low ratings if you have a dash camera?
You should always use a dash camera while driving because it helps you and your passengers feel safe. Some people might think that using a dash cam makes you look bad or rude, but most passengers will understand why you do it.
Can the ridesharing company or passenger request your dash cam videos?
Passengers and ridesharing companies generally don’t have a right to obtain your dash cam videos unless you agree. However, you may need to provide the videos as evidence if you’re involved in a lawsuit such as for an accident or sexual harassment.
How should you choose between dash cameras for ridesharing?
There are many options for dash cams on the market. There is a wide range of prices and different features. Here are some of the things you should look for.
Can you just use your phone?
While there are apps that can turn your phone into a dash cam, it’s not practical for ridesharing. You’ll have to constantly take down your phone to use the app then readjust it to get the right video angle.
Old phones aren’t ideal, either. Even when plugged in, constantly using your phone’s video camera is very draining on the phone. In some cars, the USB port doesn’t even put out enough power to keep your battery from running out.
Dual camera dash cams let you see everything that goes on both in front of your car and inside of your car, including if you get into an accident while working or if someone accuses you of misconduct.
Dual camera dash cams are becoming more common. In most cases, front-facing cameras are allowed without any restrictions. Inward-facing cameras that record your passengers may be subject to stricter laws and require notice or consent in some places.
A modern dash cam should be capable of reading the license plates of cars in front of you. This is important because it allows police officers to identify the vehicle owner.
Your dash cam should have enough storage to record multiple rides. At a minimum, you want to be able to record at least a full shift.
While you can save a specific video so it doesn’t get overwritten while you’re driving, you never know when a passenger will file a complaint. In some cases, you may not even realize anything was wrong such as when someone is trying to make a fake complaint to get a refund.
Customer reviews are a great source for information about dash cams. Dash cams with consistent positive reviews are likely to be reliable devices. Dash cams with mixed reviews may not be as reliable.
Ease of Use
Dash cameras should be as easy to use as possible. You may want to save videos on another storage device for your protection, and you want to be able to easily see that your dash cam is working.
Not all dash cams have audio recording. If this is something you want to do, you need to find a camera that supports it. You may also want to use a camera that allows you to quickly stop audio recording when required by law or you want to for your own privacy.
What are the best dash cams for Uber and Lyft drivers?
Here are some of the dash cams you should consider for your car.
Nextbase 622GW 4K Dash Cam
The Nextbase 622GW 4K Dash Cam might be considered a luxury dash cam. It provides front and rear vision in 4K.
It comes with enhanced night vision, an extreme weather mode that helps it see through fog and rain, and allows you to play videos in super slow motion. It also has an intelligent parking mode that captures any bump or movement while you’re parked.
You can also use Amazon’s Alexa to control your dash cam, play music, play calls, check the weather, get directions, find parking, and more. Finally, if you get in an accident, the Nextbase Emergency SOS can give responders your exact location.
Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2
The Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2 is a small dash cam that packs high-end features at an affordable price.
It takes videos in 1080p and has a 140-degree field of view. You can’t view videos on the camera, but you can connect it to your smartphone using Bluetooth technology.
This camera also features motion stabilization and G-sensor incident detection that automatically saves the clip if the camera detects a crash or hard stop.
Garmin Dash Cam Tandem
The Garmin Dash Cam Tandem is a great dash cam for rideshare drivers because it records both the road in the front and the interior of your vehicle where you sit as a passenger. Both cameras have 180-degree lenses.
This camera has night vision technology that makes it easier to capture passenger activity as well as incidents on the road. It also features voice activation so that you can keep your hands on the road.
Garmin Dash Cam 65W
The Garmin Dash Cam 65W only has a single camera like the Mini. What sets this camera apart is that it watches the road and gives you forward collision and lane departure warnings.
If you subscribe to the Cyclops database, it will also warn you of red light and speed cameras on the road.
Thinkware F200 Pro
The Thinkware F200 Pro is another two-way camera. It doesn’t have a screen to review videos but links to your phone.
The major selling point of this camera is its parking surveillance mode. If someone damages your car while it’s parked, this camera will catch them on video and help you find them.
Pruveeo D40 Three
The Pruveeo D40 Three is a great dash cam for people who drive during the night or in bad weather conditions. With this camera’s night-vision technology, you’ll be able to record videos even when there’s no light.
The Pruveeo D40 Three also comes with an inside camera and a front camera. At under $50, it is also one of the most affordable options.
GoPro Hero10 Black
The GoPro Hero10 Black can be mounted in your car, but it isn’t a dedicated dash cam. You’ll get quality video, but it doesn’t have the advanced features of other dash cams.
While this isn’t a bad choice if you like the GoPro brand, unnecessary features like waterproofing to 33 feet deep mean you may be better off choosing a specialized dash cam.
VanTrue N2 Pro
The Vantrue N2 Pro records in both directions and comes with night vision and parking modes. Its two cameras provide nearly 360 degrees of coverage, and it has 256GB of storage capacity.
This camera was the best dash cam pick by Wirecutter, Business Insider, CNET, BGR, Forbes, and more.
Dash cams are almost a necessity for Lyft and Uber drivers. You’re allowed to use them, but you need to familiarize yourself with the laws in your state and the policies of your rideshare company. Take the time to research the available options to see which camera is right for you.