What triggers your 'Cash for crash' awareness?

Cash for crash is unfortunately a thing over here in the UK. It’s one reason I have a dashcam. There’s good info in the links but what triggers your sixth (or seventh) sense to avoid them in the first place? I’ve never been involved in one but I know I’ve avoided a couple. There was just something that made me take that extra bit of care.

BTW I have a rear-view dashcam as well in part to prevent claims of cash-for-crash attempts against me, which I’ve heard are also becoming a thing as most people only have a front-facing dashcam.

Well, I report all accidents to the police, which I presume would stop most of these…then call my insurance company and basically let them fight it out. Not sure about others here in the US, but honestly what I’ve had happen more is hit and runs, where someone hits me (3 times in the rear) then either signals to pull over in a bit and guns it to drive off or just drives off immediately. I managed to take pictures of two of the last ones after I had several uninsured accident claims and my rates were starting to take a hit. The police only tracked down one of them, but it still helps.

The only time I’ve had something similar to what you are describing they weren’t trying for money, they were road rage events where someone was pissed at me or someone else for one reason or another and tried to slam their brakes to have me hit them.

Never encountered it yet. But if someone seems too prepared - like they KNEW a crash was going to happen and don’t act surprised in the least - that’s a total warning red flag.

I’m really thinking about before a crash happens; I’m a big fan of situational awareness and defensive driving.

I’m just a hyper-defensive driver. I’ve seen enough nonsense on the roads that might as well have been malicious, but is more likely just stupidity. I’ve developed a sixth sense for aggressive drivers coming from behind and proactively leave them openings.

My car does have a dashcam option, though I don’t yet use it all the time. It does record all driving events and I suspect I could request the logs from Tesla if there were any question about what went on. The logs could easily show if someone swerved in front of me and slammed on the brakes, or if they deliberately backed into me at a stoplight and claimed a rear-ending.

Wow. How many accidents have you had altogether?! I got rear-ended on the first by someone who hydroplaned on a puddle and that’s only the second accident I’ve ever had - and I’ve had my license for 25 years. Have you considered a defensive driving class? I took one when I was 21 so I could drive the university vehicles for a summer job and it’s served me well over the years.

As for the OP, I don’t think that’s really a thing here. Possibly because this is one of the few states that doesn’t require car insurance so there’s likely less incentive.

Been driving for 43 years. Sheeeesss makes me feel old. Average 15,000 miles a year. Never been involved in any type of accident regardless of fault. You simply must assume that every car around you at any time is going to do something unexpected, stupid, or down right malicious.

Yup.

How does this work exactly? Unless I was clearly so wrong I felt guilty and really didn’t want to deal with insurance for a minor ding, I can’t imagine someone getting money out of me. And it’s hard to imagine many accidents that would be more profitable than risking greater costs in repairs.

It works with corrupt doctors who diagnose “soft tissue” injuries and then collect large treatment fees and/or payments for disability, pain and suffering, lost work time, etc. A few thousand in damages to a 15 year old car are not a consideration.

It works legally because of the presumption that the one that hits from behind is at fault. The scammers either cut in front of you and brake hard. Or back into you at a traffic stop. And then lie, lie, lie.

It’s a thing over here: people deliberately cause a crash then claim for back injuries etc. I don’t know about the US but in the UK the rear car is generally held to be at fault. And insurance is mandatory. So the scam arose of the front car being full of people - each of whom would have a claim - brake-checking the car behind, with predictable results. There is also the variant scam of a front car slowing down and when you slow down a car behind you crashes into you and they say that you braked suddenly etc.

Go to YouTube and plug in ‘cash for crash video’. Some for your delectation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ky-pBterhxE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Efj7aqYu4o (Panorama documentary) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V758npfi-w4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXiFckv-kk4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XL2WalzDCc

For a start, have a crappy car. Preferably one which won’t pass its next MOT (annual safety test in the UK), so is shortly to become virtually worthless, but currently has a list price that would be higher.

Pull in reallll tight in front of someone and slam on the brakes, so they can’t avoid you. They go into the back of you, you get out the car and demand their insurance details. If you were hit in the rear in the UK, absent any other evidence the law assumes the driver was at fault, because its your responsibility to maintain a safe distance from the car in front. Insurance pays out to the hunk 'o junk owner according to the list price, as their car is no longer worth fixing, poor sap who ‘rear-ended’ someone who they couldn’t possibly avoid has their insurance go up.

No, I’ve not done it deliberately, though I have been through the system, having had my hunk 'o junk rear ended. She was a good 50 metres behind me when I stopped 'cos a car was pulling out a side road, but was talking to kids in the back seat and not looking at all- it went all the way to court because she gave me her insurance details then denied all involvement in the incident :smack: but I eventually got more than the value of the car back and got to keep the car, which had only minor dents. Worth doing deliberately if I was a total asshole.

[quote=“Quartz, post:11, topic:827007”]

It’s a thing over here: people deliberately cause a crash then claim for back injuries etc. I don’t know about the US but in the UK the rear car is generally held to be at fault. And insurance is mandatory. So the scam arose of the front car being full of people - each of whom would have a claim - brake-checking the car behind, with predictable results. There is also the variant scam of a front car slowing down and when you slow down a car behind you crashes into you and they say that you braked suddenly etc.

Go to YouTube and plug in ‘cash for crash video’. Some for your delectation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ky-pBterhxE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Efj7aqYu4o (Panorama documentary) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V758npfi-w4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXiFckv-kk4
[/QUOTE]

I watched the first one: Never saw a crash (saw some honking at a roundabout). I watched the 2nd and it looked like two bad drivers (one pulled out too far and the other wasn’t paying attention and ran into them). Watched the fourth and it looked like someone not paying attention (I could’ve easily stopped for that). Didn’t watch any more.

Give yourself plenty of driving distance, put down the phone and pay attention. Defensive driving will prevent what I witnessed in those videos.

The clearest ones are the last two.

2nd to last one is about the closest I can see to being a real thing: Both lower brake lights were out and it was a POS car. However, I still could’ve stopped for that.

The last one: Did they even hit? And even if they did, was that the goal? It appeared to be a nicer car.

Is this like the story of waking up in a bathtub full of ice with your kidneys missing? My brother’s friend’s cat walker swore it happened!

And be lucky. Because it’s not possible to drive so defensively that you can avoid all accidents. In the last three years I know three people that have given the smug “I’m such a good driver I never have accidents” speech and been hit within a couple months of it.

To avoid all accidents by defensive driving you’d have to basically never come within three car lengths of another car – not at stops, not when parked, not driving in the other lane of a two-lane road. It’s probably possible, but most people couldn’t drive at all if they needed to maintain that level of requirements. I was recently hit because a car in the lane next to me changed lanes into me on a slow city street. I wasn’t in his blind spot (or vice versa); we weren’t even at an intersection. I don’t think the other driver even did the lane change intentionally, he probably reached down for something or looked away. Sure, I could have “driven defensively” and never gotten next to another car for even a fraction of a second, but that’s not a reasonable standard or expectation.

And even that doesn’t apply to the case here, where the other driver is actively trying to cause an accident. Do you pull over and come to a stop every time someone goes by you in a lane? Because if not, you’re not driving defensively enough to prevent an actively malicious driver from involving you in an accident.

Staying off the cellphone helps, as does avoiding interesting conversations with passengers in congested areas.

It is a real thing, largely due to the presumption of being at fault if you hit another car from behind. How common it really is is debatable, but when you have the same person being involved multiple times in identical accidents on the one bit of road which has no CCTV, each time successfully claiming an insurance payout for their car (and whiplash injuries), it’s pretty clear there’s something going on.

For small claims, under around £5000, generally the insurance company won’t bother even contesting it, they just pay out, as it’s cheaper.

In my own incident, my insurance company actually paid out my claim before even contacting the other driver’s insurance. It only came out later that she hadn’t reported (despite telling me she was going to, which was the only reason I reported a minor bump in the first place :rolleyes: ) and I didn’t need to provide any evidence other than a description of what happened until they found out she was denying all involvement, at which point lawyers got involved, and it all got more complicated and wound up in court. Luckily I’d kept the handwritten card with her details on that she’d given me, and the case got decided in my favour, but it’s rare for that to happen.

From what they told me, it was only due to her denying involvement, not simply denying fault, that her insurance contested it.

It’s not something I worry about happening (for a start, my car’s a hunk 'o junk), but there is an obvious loophole for someone willing to be an arsehole for a few £1000, so it’d be more surprising if no-one ever did it.

Best part of that story is how badly she could have screwed herself. Policies have a clause that will kill your coverage if you fail to cooperate with an investigation. Lying about what happened gives them the right to deny coverage. So when the court gives an award, the liar has to pay it, not their insurance.

OP: Brake checking happens, but aggressive moves that cause accidents frequently get the attention of bystanders who come forward as a witness and will say the brake-checker caused the accident. That dries up the presumption of negligence against the rear car. To get around this, scammers are teaming up. Scammer #1 (car full of people) falls in right in front of the victim. This car will be driving normally and courteously, no sudden moves, not an attention grabber. Scammer #2 gets in front of #1. #1 communicates with #2, and at the agreed upon time, #2 brakes hard. #1 is in on it and anticipates the move, and is able to stop without hitting #2. Then you plow into the back of #1 while #2 merrily continues on their drive. In this case, it doesn’t matter if witnesses attest to #2 doing something unsafe, because #1 was able to respond safely. But shame on YOU for following #1 too closely! And of course, everyone in #1 is hurt.

Which leads to how I answer the OP: following distance & vigilance are everything. Scammers target cell phone users and tailgater because those people are most likely to fall for a sudden stop. Also, I have a front/rear facing dash cam. yes, the recordings are evidence even if I cause a crash. So what? I’m not a liar, the camera won’t show anything I didn’t already admit to. On the other hand juries LOVE to inflate verdicts when the defendant is a documented weasel, so please PLEASE run into me and lie about it.