A LITTLE-known dash cam feature could record crucial evidence if someone damages your motor while it’s parked and protect you against theft.
‘Parking mode’ uses motion sensors to capture movement around your car, and it could save you hundreds when lodging a claim with your insurer.
Shocking footage released by Halfords and BlackVue revealed the importance of a dash cam recording even when the car is parked.
Motorists can now buy dash cams that offer a parking mode to help capture theft from a vehicle, vandalism and car park collisions when the engine isn’t running.
The cameras will switch to parking mode after your motor has been stationary for a short amount of time.
Using a series of motion sensors, it will then begin to record footage if it detects a collision or a thief trying to break into your car.
Common mistakes putting your motor at risk of theft – here's how to keep it safe
Former offender turned security expert Michael Fraser explains how you could be making your car a target for thieves:
- Relying on your car’s security system: “If you have bought a new car, you might think it comes with a security system which will protect your car but many motors are quite vulnerable to theft; using a visual deterrent like a steering wheel lock which looks like a big strong dustbin lid that covers your entire steering wheel will put them off.”
- Parking with straight wheels: “Most people straighten up their wheels when parking, making it easy for thieves to drive away quickly. By parking your car with the wheels turned into the kerb, thieves will have to make more manoeuvres to drive off. Parking in a row of cars or facing a wall will also deter criminals.”
- Failing to hide key fob: “Many car owners believe that locking their keys in a drawer or placing them out of sight in a secure home is enough to protect their vehicles but criminals can use devices that relay the signal from keys and unlock devices remotely. Keep your keys at least 20m away from any doors, criminals can’t pick up a signal. You can also use an RFID Wallets which provide a casing for your keys.”
- Leaving a mess in your motor: “One of the biggest mistakes that car owners make is leaving rubbish and mess lying around. When a criminal walks past they will see this as an opportunity to find something valuable. Keeping valuables out of sight and tidying away any rubbish is an effective way to deter criminals.
- Michael also noted leaving ownership documents in the car and failing to check the door is actually locked are other common mistakes drivers make.
Some models even include motion sensors that will start filming if they detect any activity in your camera’s field of vision.
In one of the videos, a motorist is caught reversing into another vehicle when pulling out of a car park.
Despite a passerby coming to check the damage, the driver quickly flees the scene without leaving their details.
A thief was also caught red-handed by the little-known feature breaking into a luxury SUV and stealing a car’s air bag.
Would-be thieves are also less likely to target your car if a dash cam is mounted somewhere on the dashboard.
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Almost 60 per cent of motorists admitted to feeling safer leaving their car unattended if they had a dash cam, according to a study by Halfords.
Heather Yates, in-car technology expert at Halfords, said: “If someone tries to pinch something from your car or it gets dinged in a supermarket car park, then the parking mode on a dash cam can act as an independent witness.
“They offer drivers greater peace of mind and protection for when they are not there, and having them placed prominently on a car windscreen can even discourage bad behaviour by making people more accountable for their actions.”