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Dash Cams: Because who knows when an asteroid will strike?

The question a dashboard camera asks of drivers: What's the price of paranoia? How much money and fuss are you willing to expend in order to record every moment of your daily commute, in the event that something incredible happens in front of you?

True, without these "black boxes" the world would have many fewer "caught on tape" police car chase TV shows, and fewer hilarious YouTube moments from Russia's lawless roads or awesome asteroid explosion footage.

But while they are valuable for commercial users, the price (usually between $200 and $300), the bulk (smaller than a GPS but fatter than some smartphones), and the awkward fact that you could record yourself doing something illegal all mitigate against purchasing one.

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Still, even in Canada these cams have been used to bust car insurance scammers. So, if you must, try the units from Canadian distributor DOD Tech (available at Best Buy and other retailers). Its LS430W camera supports up to 32 GB microSDHC cards (the chip slot is finicky) for eight hours of looping recording.

Also, the integrated GPS tracking lets the video playback a software map where you were and how fast you were going when a particular clip was recorded.

If you have questions about driving or car maintenance, please contact our experts at globedrive@globeandmail.com.

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