Staged Accidents

  Colin 11:14 21 Aug 2010
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As part of my job, I deal with our company’s motor insurance. I’ve been involved with dealing with two of these such cases. One meant me having to attend court 120 miles away from our office where the third party didn’t even bother to turn up. Their case was so full of holes, e.g. claiming £16,000 in hire car charges for a 12 year old Ford Focus and injuries for three passengers when only one person was in the car, (verified by two independent witnesses). The other is still ongoing despite it happening over 3 years ago. I suppose some people think they’ve got nothing to lose but are too stupid to realise that if they are found out to be false, they are likely to face a jail sentence.
After being involved in these claims, it’s made me more aware of how easy these “accidents” are to stage, and with the dire standard of driving I see every day, it must be too much of a temptation to some less salubrious members of society to try it on. e.g. idiots driving whilst clearly using a hand held mobile phone. Driving home the other day, a pratt in the car behind me was jabbering into his phone, speeding up, slowing down, that it would have been easy for me to hit the brakes, he would have ran into the rear of my car and I could have tried to claim for all sorts of things. Fortunately, I’m not like that.

  birdface 11:59 21 Aug 2010

They usually pull in in front of you as you are going up a slip road on the motorway and then break so you have no chance of avoiding them.
No doubt they have different methods of doing it but that was just one example.

  961 14:35 21 Aug 2010

The great difficulty with your statement is that, if the fraudsters disconnect the rear brake lights on their car, you are entirely dependent on your ability to see the car has stopped and act accordingly

I would suggest that the overwhelming majority of us are actually on the lookout for the brake lights

If that doesn't happen, we're in bother, however good we are

  birdface 14:38 21 Aug 2010

[pulling in front of someone and immediately braking would be likely to produce a dispute.]
Only if the action is caught on camera.
Apart from that if you run into the back of someone it is classed as your fault.
You have to prove it was not your fault which can be difficult when maybe 3 or 4 passengers in the other car say it was your fault.
Police and Insurance company's know all about the problem and in quite a few cases the Insurance companies will not pay out.

  jakimo 15:19 21 Aug 2010

There has been programmes on TV,reporting on the thriving business of fraudulent car accident insurance claims,for a fee, an unscrupulous insurance agent claims for accidental damage to both a vehicle and people said to be in the car at the time.

  wee eddie 15:45 21 Aug 2010

find out whether you are insured. It should be possible for them to find whether certain drivers, or cars registered at a particular address, are involved in more than the average number of accidents.

It strikes me that, as the Insurance Companies are able to pass the cost on, and as with the Knock-for-knock arrangement, they are not really too bothered.

Of course they make the right noises when it comes up in the Press, or elsewhere, but such research cost them money which effects their Bonuses.

  spuds 17:58 21 Aug 2010

A person's standard of driving as very little to do with the way 'professional' accident and certain unscrupulous claim arrangers operate, and the insurance companies are getting well aware of this nowadays.

In some road situations it is not always possible to 'keep your distance'.

Not all that long ago, there was media reports about a noticed increase at a certain round-about of sudden back end collisions. It was only after a number of people working in a nearby office, who noticed and reported that a particular person was usually present in the area, that the true story came to light. Apparently this particular person in conjunction with a claims company, had made quite a number of successful claims before their enterprise was stopped, and convictions applied.

  skeletal 17:59 21 Aug 2010

Like anyone else who drives, over many years of driving I have been involved in countless “incidents”. I have usually assumed that they are down to the appalling driving standards of which we are so aware. However, I have been subject to people swerving in front of me (from both the left and right hand side) and then jamming their brakes on. Part luck and part skill (?!) has, so far, enabled me to stop quickly enough to avoid hitting them. They then set off again as if nothing has happened.

Following the reports of staged accidents, I now wonder if they were trying it on as such incidents are bad even by today’s standards.

I, from time to time, suggest people who drive automatics practice left foot braking (try it on an empty road first, and it does take practice). In “dodgy” traffic situations I always hold my left foot above the brake pedal; this results in a significant reduction in braking distance (i.e. it saves about half a second which at 60MPH is about 44 feet reduction). I’m sure I’ve been “saved” by this technique a few times.

Manual cars are harder, but you can partially improve things by always moving your right foot from the accelerator to cover the brake pedal every time you lift off (i.e. typically approaching a roundabout); you are thus always “ready” to brake.

Skeletal

  jakimo 19:14 21 Aug 2010

Announced on the 6pm news tonight,Birmingham have the record for staged accidents,the TV programmes I mentioned in my earlier post were recorded in Birmingham and the fraudsters identified,but it seems the TV progs. have not been a deterrent

  spuds 19:46 21 Aug 2010

I often use the method you have suggested, but this is mainly through a 'dodgy' knee and leg movement. Many a time I have been 'chastised' by advanced driving instructor's for adapting to that "bad practice" ;o)

  skeletal 22:38 21 Aug 2010

Spuds: that is interesting. Some time ago, there was a discussion on this forum about ”the rules” of advanced driving. I had mentioned other ideas I had years ago, like block changing of gears both up and down (manual gearbox). Block changing up in particular was supposedly “bad practice”.

I had said that I could not put up with such “rules” where only dogma was the driving force rather than logical argument and was thus unlikely to wish to join groups like the IAM.

A little while after the forum discussions I was fortunate to come across a ROSPA gold and IAM instructor that actually was prepared to both listen and also observe my well known “strange” driving.

He said that there were various opinions on “the rules” and often heated debates on web forums (!) and that opinions change all the time; particularly with changing driving conditions.

Block changing of gears (up and down) is now accepted practice (although there is bound to be some who disagree). Left foot braking is still a little too radical for most I suspect, but when the instructor actually saw how it worked in practice, agreed how useful it was. It was he who discussed the idea of always covering the brake pedal when lifting off the accelerator, and thus could see the logic of doing it all the time (in dodgy conditions).

He thought it would not stop me from passing the IAM/ROSPA test, but of course, I could be unlucky to come across “the old school” type of examiner that may disagree. (I’ve still to try the test itself as I keep forgetting to look into it!)

So, stick with it! I would love to see one day that it becomes a recognised way of increasing safety.

Skeletal

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