If you spend quite a lot of time watching videos about road accidents on YouTube, the possibility of viewing clips from Russia is like 70:30 compared to other countries. Maybe you have already known, too, that Russians are obsessed with dash cameras. Almost every car there has one mounted on the dashboard, so it’s not a wonder that nearly everything that happens on Russia’s streets would be caught on camera. But, what is it actually with Russians and dash cams? Is it a trend? Is it a safety standard of the nation or what? If you want to know, read on these 4 reasons why Russians love dash cams:
1. Fighting Corruption
Russia is a big, tough country. Living there could be quite a challenge for foreigners who don’t really understand the real-world situation. Sorry to say, but it is not a fairly ideal country when it comes to law enforcement. It is often corrupt and doesn’t favor the first-hand report when accidents happen on the streets. This is where the dash camera has an important role; the recording can be used as a proof to be presented on the court after a crash took place and if the officer who handled the incident had taken the matter into their own pockets. This kind of thing surely happens everywhere around the world, but not every place fights it with a dashboard-mounted camera like Russians.
2. For Protection
There are thousands of road deaths in Russia every year. The statistic says it is around 25 fatalities per 100.000 people, that is higher than, say, in the United States of America with around 13 deaths on the street per 100.000 people even though USA’s traffic is loaded with more cars than Russia. What does this say? Yes, Russian drivers are reckless and could be quite impatient. Running the red lights, crossing lanes, making turns without a sign, and so on. Not to mention some roads in Russia are quite in bad shape. When an accident happens, which can be in a matter of split second, a dash-cam recording will explain more clearly the cause of it. Considering almost every car in Russia has one, the said crash can likely be seen from many angles. That is another plus point!
Other things a driver in Russia is worried about are the insurance frauds. They can be another drivers or pedestrians. They would seem like getting hit but actually the fact is the other way around. Without a dash-cam, a driver can’t really tell the difference or what really happens. When the said victims push for an insurance coverage, the driver can use the recording as a solid evidence that it is a fraud. Well not everybody is a scam on the Russian streets, but to be safe is better than to be sorry.
3. For Entertainment Purposes
The first time the world noticed that almost every car in Russia had a dash cam was when a meteorite was falling over the sky of Chelyabinsk on February 15, 2013. The footages of the phenomenon went viral on the internet and got a lot of media coverage. What special was that the event got caught on camera from many different angles and not from handy cams but dash cams. This, then, raised a question whether Russia obliged all vehicles to be equipped with one. The answer was, and still, no. But, if people there hadn’t mounted the camera on their dashboards, maybe the meteorite fall wouldn’t have been clearly recorded. This is another reason why Russians love having dash cams in their cars; they get to see a lot of interesting things the eyes may miss. They get home from a long day, pop the memory cards into their laptops, and then play whatever the dash cams have recorded. Some footages can be surprising or entertaining, and in today world where everybody gets to become a journalist, these recordings could become materials to be uploaded to social media platforms. People love getting views and comments about their videos.
4. Dash Cam is Considered Cheap
In Russia, one can buy a decent dashboard camera for around 3000 Rubles (about USD$50) to 13000 Rubles (USD$200) which is way cheaper than buying an insurance policy. Because of the high number of insurance fraud in the country, the insurance company declines most of the reports. This matter makes the Russians feel like they had better buy a dash cam rather than insurance policy that could cost multiple times than a camera. With the “weapon” mounted, they can settle a lot of road incidents without having to rely on the insurance company. Especially because the better the technology is, the clearer the dash-cam footage becomes.
Here are some of the best dash-cams you can find on the market:
- Pioneer ND-DVR100
- Garmin Dash Cam 55
- Mobius Action Cam
- WheelWitness HD Pro Plus
- Rexing V1
All are under USD$200 and quite compact to tape on the dashboard. People won’t even notice it’s there which means – if used properly and for a good cause – can provide a great protection.
Going back to the point number three; not all Russian dash-cam footages are gory, violent, or negatively shocking. Some are actually heartwarming and restoring faith in humanity. These footages benefit the country too for showing the nice side of it and that people are not supposed to worry or scared to visit Russia. Unconsciously, all the Russian motorists are their nation’s ambassadors. They can show the true face of Russia through the recordings of the camera on their cars’ dashboards.
Do you have a dash cam in your car? If yes, why you decided to have one on the first place? Was the reason included in one of the 4 reasons why Russians love dash cams we revealed above?