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Avoiding Crash Scams. Some Sensible Advice From the IAM

Published 15 June 2016

If someone brakes hard in front of you and you crash into the back of his car, you are usually deemed to be at fault, even if the crash was deliberately staged. Here's how to prevent that from happening.

Many thanks to IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards Richard Gladman for this commonsense advice:

  • Stay extra alert on busy roads. Try to identify hazards early, slow down and stay back until it’s safe to pass through.
  • The best way to anticipate a hazard ahead is to look beyond the vehicles in front of you and respond rather than merely react. Make space. Never get too close to the vehicle in front. Maintain a two second gap if traffic is flowing and at least one foot per mph in slow moving traffic.

  • Be wary of motorists tailgating you – they may be doing this intentionally to get your attention. Ignore any gestures they make, but if at any point you feel threatened, pull over where it is safe and legal to do so and let them pass you.

  • If you're involved in a crash and don’t think it’s your fault, call the police immediately. If you can, canvass for witnesses and try to get contact details, especially any dashcam video. Whatever you do, avoid getting into a confrontation.

  • Try to collect as much information as possible and take photographs with your phone. If any images indicate a fewer number of passengers in the car than is claimed you can reduce the fraudulent injury claims being made. Find out more about insurance fraud here: https://www.insurancefraudbureau.org/

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