Cycling is a great benefit in more ways than one. Not only are bicycles more eco-friendly and cost-effective, but they keep you much more active than other forms of transportation. Unfortunately, cycling also puts you at risk for a variety of hazards. In fact, according to the US DoT, an average of 45,000 bicyclists are injured in traffic each year.
One of the best ways to keep yourself safe while cycling is to review bike safety tips & tricks for urban environments. However, even the best cyclists can get caught in an unfortunate collision, in which case you will want to invest in a dash cam. Luckily, you can easily equip your bike with a dash cam using an old smart phone and materials you could very well already have around the house.
Why Dash Cams are Important
Many people are already aware of the importance of dash cams when it comes to driving a car or truck. If a car accident occurs, video footage of the moments before, during, and after the crash can be crucial when determining who is at fault. The same is just as true for bicycle riders, if not more so.
When a cyclist is injured in a crash that is not their fault, they may be entitled to compensation for their injuries and any bicycle repair or replacement damage. This is only possible if the cyclist can demonstrate that the accident was not their fault. With a dash cam, a cyclist can provide hard evidence of what they saw before a crash occurred, and have a much higher chance of receiving compensation. In this way, dash cams are easily one of the best forms of physical and financial protection that cyclists can possess.
Recycling a Smart Phone vs. Purchasing a Dash Cam
Purchasing a dash camera is, of course, a viable option when looking to increase your cycling safety. However, recycling a smart phone may be in your (and the planet’s) best interests for many reasons:
Making Your Recycled Phone Dash Cam
While it may sound daunting, making your dash cam is simple:
For the mount:
Step 1: Apply one strip of the Velcro to the back of your old phone (preferably to a strong case attached to the phone) and the other strip to the outer flat side of your corner brace. Attach your phone to the brace, and be sure the fit is secure.
Step 2: Find the center of your bicycle handle bar. Apply two pipe clams to the bar, each evenly spaced from the center (to ensure your dash cam video is well centered). Make sure they are fastened and tightened properly.
Step 3: Attach the corner brace to the pipe clamps, making sure your phone faces outward in a landscape (not portrait/vertical) view. Be sure the brace is securely attached to the clamps.
Step 4: Download a dash cam app (available for iOS and Android) onto your smartphone. Once the app is set-up, all you need to do is start it up before each ride and you’re on your way to safer cycling!