There’s a common misconception that everyday people don’t actually need dash cameras in their cars. A dash cam is something only used by police officers and Russians who are worried about insurance fraud, right?

Wrong

In truth, a lot of people use dash cams in a lot of different ways, and there is a very good chance that you should probably be one of them. If you really want to find out whether or not you need a dash cam, just keep a few key things in mind.

Dash Cam

You Might Need a Dash Cam If… You Value Your Own Safety

When you think about all of the dash cam videos that you’ve probably spent hours watching on YouTube, a huge percentage of those clips come from the same source: cop cars. At this point, it’s hard to find a law enforcement agency in the United States that HASN’T outfitted all of their patrol cars with dash cams. They take this step for a very important reason: It’s been proven to help maintain both the safety of their officers and the people they interact with.

Therefore, if you’re the type of person who likes to be as safe as possible at all times (and who doesn’t?), you’re a likely candidate to need a dash cam in your daily life. Regardless of the situation you find yourself in, you’ll have a crystal clear video record that can be preserved for all time. The peace of mind that comes with knowing that someone is always watching out for you—even if that “someone” is technically a robot—is something you just can’t put a price on.

You Might Need a Dash Cam If… You Want as Much Accountability as Possible

Along the same lines, a dash camera would make an ideal purchase if you’re the type of person who wants to preserve as much accountability as you possibly can during your travels. If an accident happens right in front of you, things won’t devolve into a “he said/she said” situation. You’ll have a record that you can refer back to in order to get to the bottom of things. If you’re involved in an accident yourself, you don’t have to waste your time arguing or worrying if someone is going to change their story. You have a video that shows exactly what happened that you can easily turn over to the police, to your insurance company or (more likely) both.

You Might Need a Dash Cam If… You Want to Monitor Your Teen Driver

Last but not least, we have a category that essentially brings the best of both safety AND accountability together at the same time: monitoring that teen driver who desperately wants to get out on the open road.

It’s an experience that we all have and helping your teen maintain as much independence as possible during this time is always a priority. You can’t watch them too closely or you’ll come off less like a trusted adviser and more like a drill sergeant—and nobody wants that. But at the same time, if they’re making mistakes, you need to know about it so that you can take steps to correct them. Many of the driving habits that we pick up when we’re very young are the ones we carry with us later in life.

A dash cam—and particularly dual camera units—are helpful for worried parents in this situation. These types of cameras will record everything going on in front of the car, yes, but they’ll also record the interior of the vehicle at the same time. If your teen is taking their eyes off the road, you’re going to know about it. If they’re texting while driving, you’re going to know about it. If they insist that they always wear their seat belt but they really don’t, guess what—that fancy little dash cam just ratted them out.

Regardless of which of these categories you fall into (or if you’re a part of all three at the same time), it’s easy to see why dash cameras have become so popular with so many. When you think about how far they’ve come as a product in only the last five years or so, it really is exciting to think about what the dash cams of the next decade may offer us.