Few things generate mindless, giddy glee like watching car accidents edited together (well, maybe Winnebago Man). And thanks to the YouTubes, the cock-ups of John Q. Motorist are preserved for our comedic enjoyment. But *nothing* can prepare you for the anarchy that is the Russian car accident compilation. WARNING — if you click “play” on the above video, you will lose 30 minutes of your life.
There are a plethora of these videos online, many specifying “Russian” in the video title. I would like to state up front that I do not believe all Russians are bad drivers as a general rule. Having said that, I understand how someone could easily arrive at that conclusion. Apparently, many Russians carry dashboard-mounted cameras for insurance reasons. The unintended result is a cavalcade of accident videos that are surprisingly consistent in their content. They generally fall into the following categories (in no particular order):
1) Driving too fast for the conditions — Yes, snow and ice. Several instances produce amazing avoidance driving by those near by.
2) Running a red light — Hard to tell who is at fault sometimes because the traffic lights are out of frame…
3) Changing lanes/making a u-turn without looking — I actually saw one where a guy turned right in front of another car, and after the impact, threw up his hands. As if to say, “What were you thinking?” Projecting, obviously.
4) Errant wheel — Sometimes this is the result of a collision, other times they detach on their own!
5) Crossing over into oncoming traffic — It seems like such a simple thing to avoid, but you would be very, very surprised.
6) Semi-truck versus passenger vehicle — More often than not, this involves the four-wheeler not giving the eighteen-wheeler enough room.
There are other notable occurrences like livestock on the loose, trucks losing their loads, pedestrian crossing snafus, Caterpillar drivers gone berserk. But here’s the really amazing part: As far as I can tell 99.999% of these road accidents happen on roads that are completely flat and straight as an arrow! Very few are ever on twisty roads. The only conclusion I can draw is that the drivers I’m watching either a) never went to driving school or b) didn’t pay attention in driving school. If there are any Russians out there who would care to comment on the quality of driver’s training in their home country, they are more than welcome to chime in. In the meantime, I’ll get back to watching the vids — and learning Russian expletives.