The Two-Way
7:38 am
Fri February 15, 2013

Why Did So Many Russian Drivers Get Such Great Meteor Videos?

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 8:58 am

The videos from Russia today of a meteor roaring over the Ural Mountains are amazing.

They also raise a question: Why do so many Russian drivers have dashcams?

Robert Krulwich explained why last December. And PC World is among those today who note that the answer is relatively simple:

"Many Russian drivers install and run dashboard cameras constantly to capture evidence in the case of accidents or scams involving pedestrians purposely getting hit. The cameras have long provided a steady stream of YouTube hits, which are now commonly combined into compilations."

Fair warning if you watch any of those compilations: there are some scary moments; so consider carefully whether you really want to click "play."

Here's one short video of a frightening accident — but one in which no one appears to be seriously injured.

And this video shows "why it's good to have a dash camera" when there are scam artists around.

Update at 11:55 a.m. ET. More On Why There Are So Many Videos:

As Jalopnik writes, "psychopaths are abundant on Russian roads" and having video evidence can be important in court. And then there's this:

"The other side of the Russian Wild Wild West is the sloppy online content policy. In the U.S., we can't really watch anything slightly more serious than a subway fight or one car rear-ending another, as diligent censors quickly nab any videos with bad injuries, too much blood or other overly violent content.

"Russian websites go for the uncut, the horrible accidents–trucks flipping over, people being smashed into pieces and sedans flying up in the air and exploding. Given that television programming is mostly vacuous and heavily censored, dash-cam videos are very popular in Russia. It's uncensored–drama, comedy, tragedy, horror, thriller and educational genres fused into one super-genre of 'dash-cam.' "

Here's one more example. Spoiler alert: The truck driver appears to be OK afterward.

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