Russian dashboard cameras have captured some incredible images in recent months. On Friday, they captured stunning videos of a meteor streaking over the Ural Mountains region, and in December of 2012, a dashboard camera captured terrifying images of a plane crash outside Moscow.
According to a detailed explanation of Russia’s dash cam culture
appearing on the website Animal New York, there are several reasons why millions of the cameras have been installed by Russian automobile owners.
One is that “psychopaths are abundant on Russian roads” and even the slightest perception of rude driving can quickly escalate into a fist fight or worse. The second reason, is that if you get injured or have your property damaged in such a fist fight, the best evidence in a Russian court is camera footage. Also, the website says, Russian websites are hungry for gory, horrifying footage of automobile accidents.
Russians also install dashboard cameras as a way to protect themselves from corrupt law enforcement officials.
Another driver of the phenomenon common today is using the footage to counter would-be scammers who will throw themselves in front of moving cars in the hopes of a lawsuit payoff. The practice is so common that YouTube is filled with compilation videos such as the one below.
If you want a better sense of what it’s like to drive in Russia, automotive website Jalopnik compiled what they call the “craziest Russian dash cam videos of 2012