A TRUE STORY
I am going to paint a verbal picture of this for you – from memory, since I did not have a dash cam in my car.
Two days ago, at around noon, I was driving on a multi-lane San Diego freeway (southbound on the I-15). Traffic was light and moving quickly (the posted speed limit was 65 – you do the math). I was about to exit the freeway onto a major east-west thoroughfare (Miramar Road heading west). Since this is a busy exit, the long offramp is two lanes wide. If I stayed in the freeway lane that I was in, I would have ended up on the left lane of this exit ramp. Are you with me so far?
As I got close to the exit ramp I could see that the traffic in the right lane – near the beginning of the offramp, and beside where I was about to be – was completely stopped. Remember, I was still on the freeway and traffic there was moving at high speed.
Luckily there was no traffic stopped ahead of me in my lane. Nevertheless, out of an abundance of caution, I slowed somewhat for the stopped traffic in the right lane. I was behind a pickup truck that was also exiting the freeway. I could see far ahead, past the stopped vehicles in the right lane, to where the exit merged with Miramar Road. Both lanes were clear there.
Inexplicably, the pickup truck in front of me came to a complete stop. I had nowhere to go so I had to stop too, even though I was still on the freeway. I could see in my rearview mirror that a car was approaching. Frantically I pumped my brakes so that my brake lights would flash rapidly, to hopefully get that driver’s attention. It worked. The driver slowed.
Ahead of me I could see a pedestrian standing in the right exit lane, motioning to oncoming traffic to stop. No doubt that is why the pickup truck in front of me had stopped, but I could see there was nothing in the lane ahead of him. He needed to get moving before we were all involved in a terrible rear-end collision.
Behind me I could see that the next vehicle to reach me would be a semi. I rapidly and repeatedly pumped my brakes again. He slowed too.
Thankfully the driver of the pickup truck finally drove past the traffic that was stopped in the right lane beside him. I did too. I doubt the pickup driver ever knew how close we all had come to being involved in a bad rear-end collision.
VAVA 4K Dash Cam
It was after this close call that I remembered that I had been given a VAVA 4K dash cam to review, while covering CES in Las Vegas. Suddenly, doing my review took on a much-heightened sense of urgency. That dash cam could have documented that event.
An earlier, 2K version of the Wi-Fi VAVA dash cam has received positive reviews online. The GPS-enabled new 4K model is even better.
Here are its key features. Day or night (thanks to its Enhanced Night Vision), it automatically records wide (155 degrees) video, on a continuous loop, whenever your car’s ignition is on (choose from one-, two- or three-minute video clips). Additionally, you can manually record video clips and still photos – either by using the VAVA Dash app (for iOS or Android) or by pressing the snapshot pushbutton that you can hang in your car.
The VAVA dash cam attaches to its windshield mount via a strong magnet. The camera rotates 360 degrees, so you can shoot ahead of your car or even shoot yourself and your passengers, as you talk.
The built-in 320mAh battery and G-sensor (with 3-axis accelerometer) optionally enables recording of short video clips, if your car is jostled while parked.
You can watch what is recorded on your phone via the app, or from the memory card via your computer. Video and audio quality is excellent.
Setup is easy but the cord is inconvenient.
Currently the 4K VAVA dash cam is $199.99 ($30 off), including everything except a U3 microSDHC memory card. To order, or for more information, visit https://www.vava.com/products/1080p-full-4k-hd-dash-cam-car-dvr.
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Copyright © 2020 by Jan Wagner – AutoMatters & More #628