Driver training specialist IAM Drive & Survive is offering weekly motoring tips to drivers from its head of training, Simon Elstow. This week he is advising on dealing with crash for cash scams.
Crash for cash scams are staged collisions. The one to watch for is when some deliberately drives dangerously to force a crash so they can make an exaggerated insurance claim.
How to avoid them:
- Always look ahead and anticipate hazards
- Keep a safe following distance from the car in front
- Beware of tailgaters. The car behind you will try to get your attention so you don’t concentrate on the driver in front. Pay attention to the vehicles around you and if you feel threatened by a tailgater, pull over somewhere safe to let them past.
- Keep an eye out for local news – criminal gangs doing this tend to use the same locations a lot. Local news can suggest where it is.
If you are involved in one, remember:
- If you’re suspicious, don’t ask them directly about it at the scene.
- Try to take photos of the damage – discreetly if possible, get a description of the driver and count the number of people in the other vehicle.
- If you need the emergency services, call 999.
- Stay calm. You’ll need to swap details with other drivers.
Elstow said: “Crash for cash scams are costing the insurance industry millions of pounds. Collisions are stressful and emotionally draining but it’s important to be prepared in case you are involved in one.”
“Despite high profile sentencing for these scams in the past, they’re still happening. Make sure you follow this advice to ensure you know what to do if you’re ever involved in one.”
To help drivers stay safe and enjoy their driving this summer, the IAM has a new website, drivingadvice.org.uk, with traffic updates, weather forecasts, and driving tips, including: driving abroad, cycling, coping with Olympic congestion, and loading the car for a long journey.