Are you a proud parent whose child just received their driver’s license? Learning to drive is part of growing up, but that doesn’t make you less concerned about your child’s abilities as an inexperienced driver. Inexperienced drivers are easily distracted and can compromise not only the safety of themselves but also the safety of others in the vehicle. A dash camera is helpful to protect your teen driver on the road, as well as monitor their driving habits. With a dash cam, you can make sure that they are not texting and driving, speeding, blasting music, or driving with people they are not supposed to (like members of the opposite gender). If all of this would help alleviate your concerns as a worried parent, then a dash camera is a savvy investment and perfect solution for you! Dash Cam footage is useful for opening a dialogue around safe driving to correct risky driving behavior. According to a study by the American Family Mutual Insurance Company, installing dash cameras in cars of teenage drivers reduced the frequency and severity of risky driving events by 70%.
WHAT IS A DASH CAMERA?
A dash camera, also know as a black box, car dvr, or in car camera is a video camera installed within the vehicle to record the exterior and/or interior of the vehicle. Dash cams come in both 1 channel models (meaning one camera only), and 2 channel models (meaning 2 cameras). The most common places for the camera to record are the front and rear exterior, or the front and the interior of the vehicle. The footage is stored onto a memory card so it can be viewed at a future time. When the memory card is full, the camera begins to automatically overwrite its old contents (called looped recording).
WHY USE A DASH CAMERA?
A 2-channel dash cam or in car camera is particularly popular among parents of teen drivers because the front camera can be used to record what’s in front of the vehicle and the second camera can be used to record the driver and interior of the vehicle and behind the vehicle. This footage is useful for providing parents with footage to review the driving habits of new drivers and pinpoint risky driving behavior. For example, with this footage, you can determine whether your child is driving distraction-free (from texting, other passengers), or who else your child may be driving with. Having this footage can allow for more open and constructive discussions about responsibilities as a safe driver, and correct risky behavior before it leads to an accident. Reviewing the driving footage with your teen can also help improve their driving skills and prevent accidents and tickets, making them safer on the road and keeping their insurance rates as low as possible. All of this will help you feel safer knowing your teen is engaging in safe driving habits and abiding by your rules.
An additional benefit of in car cameras is that the recorded footage gives unquestionable evidence of what occurred before, during, and after an incident/accident, if one were to ever occur. This footage will help save massive headaches and troubles when proving innocence in a car accident, or protecting your child against insurance fraud and false claims from other drivers.
Below we will introduce our top pick for the best dash cam for teen drivers, as well as other options we recommend for dash cameras for teen drivers
Our Top Pick - BlackVue DR650S-2CH-IR - $399.99
If you haven’t already, you can read our article describing the BlackVue DR650S IR and why it is the best dash cam for the parents of teen drivers.
This advanced, cutting edge camera is easy to install and has a sleuth of built-in features that make it our top pick for parents who wish to monitor their teen drivers! Infrared lights help the rear channel of the camera record a clear image of the interior of the cabin at night, even when the car is parked with the interior lights off. Also, using a special app and the Cloud feature, parents can monitor their teen’s driving habits with LIVE video and sound playback, while the GPS can relay location and even the car’s speed of travel!
Other Affordable Dash Camera Options for Teen Drivers
The options below are reliable dash cams that will work well in any vehicle. However, it is important to note that these dash cams will not have the BlackVue Cloud feature that the BlackVue DR650S 2Ch IR above features, which allows parent’s to live stream their child’s driving and receive notifications regarding speed limits.
AVIC Dual Channel - $299.99
The AVIC View-I Dual Lens is a specialized camera that is made to be tamperproof, with a locking SD card cover and a hardwired installation that makes it difficult to simply unplug the dash cam without the parent noticing at a later point in time. This means that teens could enter an empty parking lot at 3:00AM and simply unplug the camera or remove the SD card stop recording while they use up the rest of their tire tread trying to write their name in the asphalt. Also, the infrared interior camera can light up the inside of the car’s cabin, meaning that parents can ensure their teens utilize proper driving habits on the road while enjoying a safe environment inside of the car. If the parent should choose to only record the outside of the car, however, then they may opt out of the dual channel camera and purchase the single channel version of this camera instead for 249.99.
The AVICView-I is not perfect however, as it only comes with the option to record in 720P instead of a full 1080P, and also requires to be hardwired into cars instead of simply being plugged into a 12V outlet. The AVIC View-I also does not include any sort of cloud-based live stream video similar to BlackVue’s advanced cloud system, which means that videos can only be viewed after pulling the memory card to watch them on a computer.
BlackVue DR470 - $199.00
The BlackVue DR470-2CH is one of the more-affordable cameras on this list, even though it records at a beautiful, full 1080p HD in the front, with 720p in the rear as most 2-channel dash cam setups offer. This camera comes standard with its rear camera and a 16GB memory card, as well as a tamperproof SD card mount (which allows the SD card slot to be locked). This camera is nearly identical to the BlackVue DR650S-2CH, but it does not have built in WiFi or GPS, however an external GPS module may be purchased additionally to track speed and location on a map.
The only negatives to this camera are that the rear camera is not suitable for recording video of the car’s cabin and occupants due to its lack of infrared lighting for visibility in low light. With this set up, we recommend mounting the front camera in the front and the rear camera in the rear for front and rear protection, giving you a peace of mind in the event of an accident. Also, due to the DR470-2CH’s lack of WiFi capabilities, this camera cannot support BlackVue Cloud for live viewing/streaming.
BlackVue DR450 - $119.00
The BlackVue DR450-1CH is the most affordable and simplest camera on this list, yet it still records at a crystal-clear 1080p HD AND comes with a 16GB SD card included in the price. This camera does not include a rear-facing camera, which makes it even easier to install and cuts the purchase price significantly. This camera’s wide angle lens can see 129° degrees around the front of the car, which is ample for insurance fraud protection and monitoring your teen’s driving habits.
Like the DR470-2CH, the SD card slot is tamperproof and GPS is an available option, while WiFi and BlackVue Cloud are unavailable. The lack of these features and add-ons come with a massive price discount compared to other cameras on this list but also slightly limit the full, front-and-rear video capabilities and luxuries of the other cameras on this list.
Street Guardian SG9665GC V3 - $199.99
The Street Guardian SG9665GC V3 is the most advanced camera in Street Guardian’s lineup, at the time of writing. This camera includes a 32GB micro SD card, a GPS module, and a polarized filter (to block out glare from the dashboard) in its purchasing price. The polarized lens significantly reduces glare and ensures crystal clear video in virtually all lighting conditions without taking away from night-time lighting quality. This camera is built with a metal body that is designed to disperse heat, while the power supply is engineered with a capacitor instead of a battery, which further ensures that this camera can handle scorching summers in tropical climates. Also, the SG9665GC V3 comes with a small cover to hide wires and give the appearance of an attachment that was a factory option, rather than a cluster of wires sticking out of an aftermarket attachment.
While this camera works beautifully as a durable, long term option, it lacks the ability to work with a rear-facing camera and it does not have a tamperproof SD card slot. Also, at a price of $199.99, this camera is a solid built camera that performs exceptionally well, comes with a ton of accessories, and has exceptional night quality recording.
Thinkware F770 - $279.99
The Thinkware F770 is a 1080p Full HD camera that is chock full of safety features including lane departure warning, parking mode time lapse and front collision warning which can be helpful for a teen driver to help keep them alert and focused on the road. A full 1080p Full HD rear camera for the F770 is available either with or without infrared lights, depending on whether you would prefer internal or external rear recording. The 1080p found in the rear camera of the Thinkware F770 is rear as most dash cameras today only come with a 720p rear camera. Also, the F770 comes with a high endurance 32GB SD card and has integrated WiFi and GPS instead of separate modules, which makes it super easy to install. One of the most satisfying features of owning this Thinkware is knowing that it is backed by a THREE YEAR WARRANTY, which is far greater than most other name-brand cameras which only offer a one year warranty.
The main downsides of the Thinkware F770 are its lack of a cloud and live view feature similar to that of the BlackVue DR650S-2CH.