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Old 02-09-2019, 10:38 AM
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Are Russian drivers really so bad?


And if so, why?

If you go to Youtube and look for dashcam car crashes, bad driving, and so on, Russians handily top the charts. Why is this? Are the number of accidents proportionally the same but there are more dashcams? Or are Russians worse drivers? Drunk more often? What's the Straight Dope?
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:50 AM
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Vodka and nihilism.
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Old 02-09-2019, 11:11 AM
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I've heard that insurance fraud is a serious problem in Russia. People intentionally cause crashes to claim insurance and others need dash cams to protect themselves. More dash cams means more accidents recorded.
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Old 02-09-2019, 11:13 AM
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According to the table on wikipedia

Road fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants per year: Russia=18.9, USA=10.9
Road fatalities per 100,000 motor vehicles: Russia=53.4, USA=12.9

Though it doesn't necessarily mean Russian drivers are worse. They probably have less safe cars, and their roads may be in worse condition. And perhaps more of their driving is in bad weather conditions (esp. snow or ice on the road). The US probably has a better ambulance & medical system as well.

Last edited by scr4; 02-09-2019 at 11:15 AM.
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Old 02-09-2019, 11:14 AM
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My understanding is that, yes, dashcams are ubiquitous in Russia, because (a) there are a lot of accidents, and (b) law enforcement and the legal system aren't the best, so drivers use them as proof of their lack of fault if some idiot runs into them.

This article describes all of that, as well as noting that, yes, Russians do get into a lot of car accidents.
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Old 02-09-2019, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
This article describes all of that, as well as noting that, yes, Russians do get into a lot of car accidents.
That article is 6 years old.
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Old 02-09-2019, 12:06 PM
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Road fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants per year: Russia=18.9, USA=10.9
Road fatalities per 100,000 motor vehicles: Russia=53.4, USA=12.9
Wow. But China is even worse with figures of 18.8 and 104.5 respectively, so why don't we see many Chinese crashes? Is this Chinese state censorship at work?
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Old 02-09-2019, 12:28 PM
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That article is 6 years old.
You're right, it is. Is there any good reason to believe that anything said in that article has materially changed in the past six years?
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Old 02-09-2019, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 74westy View Post
I've heard that insurance fraud is a serious problem in Russia. People intentionally cause crashes to claim insurance and others need dash cams to protect themselves. More dash cams means more accidents recorded.
It's my understanding that there is no auto insurance in Russia. Without a dashcam to provide evidence, drivers are easily scammed or wrongly blamed.
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Old 02-09-2019, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
Wow. But China is even worse with figures of 18.8 and 104.5 respectively, so why don't we see many Chinese crashes? Is this Chinese state censorship at work?
The Chinese government does, indeed, maintain tight control / censorship over internet access for most Chinese citizens, so that could certainly play a role. Also, I have no idea how prevalent dashcams are in China.
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Old 02-09-2019, 12:41 PM
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Maybe, but I feel like there'd be just as many YouTube videos originating from the US if dashcams were as prevalent here as they are there. It's just a simple matter of having the cameras. Like how it feels like the world is more violent than ever, but it's just because of instant global communication: you hear about stuff you wouldn't have before when the reality is the world is actually safer today than it's ever been.
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Old 02-09-2019, 06:38 PM
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One thing I should add: it's very heartening to see on most of the Russian videos that when there's an accident, even the uninvolved stop to help.
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Old 02-09-2019, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
My understanding is that, yes, dashcams are ubiquitous in Russia, because (a) there are a lot of accidents, and (b) law enforcement and the legal system aren't the best, so drivers use them as proof of their lack of fault if some idiot runs into them.

This article describes all of that, as well as noting that, yes, Russians do get into a lot of car accidents.
I had wondered if it was related in some way to the Chelyabinsk near-disaster, which had lots of footage due to dash cans. Yep, it was.
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Old 02-10-2019, 01:38 AM
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Quote:
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Wow. But China is even worse with figures of 18.8 and 104.5 respectively, so why don't we see many Chinese crashes? Is this Chinese state censorship at work?
Having driven in a car through a busy Chinese city (though, granted, over a decade ago), I wouldn't be surprised by high fatality numbers with Chinese vehicle accidents. The cities have so many people out on bicycles, walking, etc. that any car accident is liable to take out a good number of people just by virtue of there being so many people around to drive through.
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
It's my understanding that there is no auto insurance in Russia. Without a dashcam to provide evidence, drivers are easily scammed or wrongly blamed.
Liability insurance is legally required in Russia, and there are even state mechanisms to provide it when you can’t find an insurance provider, just like the US. It can be very expensive, and provide very low limits in some parts of the country, but that’s not different from the US.

ETA: about one in seven US motorists go uninsured, despite laws here…what I don’t know is whether that rate is much higher in Russia. I would guess it is.

Last edited by Maserschmidt; 02-10-2019 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 02-16-2019, 10:55 AM
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Bump!

This video appeared at the top of my list today. It features a large number of drivers from the Far East.
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Old 02-16-2019, 04:11 PM
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I question whether the YouTube vids are accurate. I saw a couple of clips that were labeled to be in Russia, but they had Michigan plates on them. In one case, I recognized the stretch of road they were on.
  #18  
Old 02-16-2019, 06:41 PM
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If there was world wide bad driving competition I can think of an awful lot of countries that would give the Russians a run for their money.

Youtube is probably not the best guide.
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Old 02-20-2019, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nearwildheaven View Post
I had wondered if it was related in some way to the Chelyabinsk near-disaster, which had lots of footage due to dash cans. Yep, it was.
How was a meteor a near-disaster? That it struck somewhat close to an inhabited area instead of out in the middle of nowhere like most of them? I though it exploded well over the ground, and there was a ton of damage from the shockwave regardless of the fact the explosion was over the middle of a field. I suppose if it had exploded over a more densely populated area that would be really bad, but most of the Earth is very sparsely populated.
  #20  
Old 02-21-2019, 04:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filmstar-en View Post
If there was world wide bad driving competition I can think of an awful lot of countries that would give the Russians a run for their money.

Youtube is probably not the best guide.
I dread to think what those countries are then, because I've had some of my most terrifying taxi rides in Russia.
  #21  
Old 02-21-2019, 04:55 AM
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I heard from a Russian that you can just bribe an official to get a license.
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