Is a Car Dash Cam Enough as a Backup Camera?

Having a rear car dash cam is pretty much common these days. Its primary purpose is to provide video footage in the event of an accident. If you have one, you must have thought of using it as a backup camera. Thinking about installing a dash cam in the rear side of the car? Get a clear idea about its performance.

What Is a Rear Dash Cam and Backup Camera?

The increasing rate of car accidents and the lack of evidence to prove fault for the accident’s cause has led many manufacturers to equip cars with a rear dash cam. This camera captures what is happening behind the car, giving an up-close view of the traffic and other vehicles around you. They can help you identify what caused your accident, as well as protect you from potential lawsuits against your insurance company.

On the other hand, a car backup or rear view camera is a device that allows the driver to see what is behind the vehicle. You will typically find them onto or behind the license plate or above the car’s bumper. The live feed will be projected onto a screen in the dashboard or head unit. You can adjust the video feed in terms of angle and distance to allow for optimal visibility.

rear view camera
A car backup camera. (Credit: sonicelectronix)

Can I Use the Dash Cam as the Rear View Camera?

The plain and simple answer is “yes.” You can use the dash cam to get a view of what’s behind the vehicle. However, some drawbacks make this option quite impractical.

Small camera focus

Using dashboard cameras for rearview navigation is not practical. Dashboard cameras are typically small and do not provide enough detail to be used in backseat viewing. Rear view cameras are much larger and more effective at providing an unobstructed view behind your car.

Reverses the footage

A dash cam cannot horizontally flip the rear video feed. Without this feature, it will reverse the left and right views for all footage. So, when you are looking behind your vehicle, everything is reversed. For instance, if you were going to turn right, the dash cam would show a left-hand turn. If you were going to turn left, the dash cam would show a right-hand turn.


Limited camera angles

The rearview camera is an important accessory when you are driving. It helps to prevent accidents by letting you know when someone is in your blind spot. The rearview camera is a device mounted to the back of the car that provides an unobstructed view of what is behind the vehicle. The idea is to help drivers avoid hitting other cars, pedestrians, and animals in the roadway.

However, a dash cam cannot provide such functionality because of its limited visibility from certain angles. It does not capture the full view of what’s behind you. So, using it instead of a rear view camera means compromising safety on the road.


Dash cams are not designed for use as rearview cameras, even though they can function in this capacity in some cases. They cannot provide drivers with the information necessary for reversing out of tight parking spots or backing into tight spaces in general.