A few years ago, you might have noticed a trend on YouTube. It involved grainy digital footage taken from the dashboard of somebody’s car. Usually, the videos would be presented in compilation form and involve a series of incredibly improbable scenes from the seemingly chaotic roads of the Russian Federation. Meteors would fall to earth in a blaze of light. Military aircraft would irresponsibly buzz civilian cars on country backroads – seemingly for sport. Packs of wolves would chase traffic cops down a remote highway somewhere in the densely forested East.
All of this footage was captured on dashcams – small digital cameras that constantly record from the dashboard of a person’s car. So much of this footage emerged from Russia that it got people wondering: why are Russians always filming?
A Solution to A Widespread Problem
Dashcams were actually a sensible solution to a very widespread problem in Russia: insurance and civil case fraud. Fraudsters regularly cause minor accidents with the hope of claiming on a victim’s insurance. They also regularly took out civil cases against drivers who were not at fault during an accident. The answer to this widespread fraud? Dashcams. Because dashcams record constantly, they can capture footage of fraud taking place in real-time. Before dashcams were widespread, it would be one word against another in court when it was time to determine who was at fault during a crash. Dashcams capture any sleight of hand or manipulation used to organize a favourable crash by a fraudster.
Contrary to popular belief, dashcams are not a Federal legal requirement in Russia. They are, however, so incredibly useful at countering fraudulent claims that they have become ubiquitous in the country. The rest of the world may well be following suit.
Should You Get A Dashcam?
When building a civil case for compensation after an accident, good lawyers like Horst Shewmaker from Georgia will always tell you that the more evidence you have accrued, the more likely your case is to succeed. Dashcams are a fantastic and highly reliable way of retaining evidence of wrongdoing on the road.
Although car insurance fraud is far less prevalent in the United States than in Russia, it is still a problem. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the cost of insurance fraud is around 40 billion dollars annually – not including health insurance fraud. A huge quantity of this insurance fraud is automobile-related. Staying safe on the highway doesn’t just mean putting on your seatbelt or following the rules of the road. You need to prepare yourself for gaining compensation or fighting a case against you if somebody else causes an accident.
In truth, Russia is not that much more chaotic than anywhere else in the world. The sheer quantity of footage being collected means that it is far more likely that a person will be able to capture images of chaos unfolding than elsewhere in the world.