staged car accidents in Pittsburgh

How to Avoid Staged Car Accidents

In case being involved in a car accident wasn’t already frightening enough, you also have to worry about staged car accidents. While genuine car collisions are the result of an unintentional mistake or unlucky circumstances, staged car accidents are carefully planned out.

One or two people work together, roping in an innocent outside party who will take the fall for their scam. When they execute their plan, the innocent party’s insurance company will be on the hook for the damage caused.

Learn more about common staged car accident scams and how to protect yourself. If you’ve been victimized by an accident scammer, find out how you can seek compensation. Call Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman at 866-565-4949.

Recognize Common Car Accident Scams

If you familiarize yourself with common schemes, you will be able to recognize them if you see them in action. This gives you the chance to get away and, if possible, report the scam to the local police. Some of the most common staged car accident setups include:

  • Panic stopping. This type of scam often involves two people in the same car. They are traveling ahead of you, with the passenger watching you carefully in the rearview mirror. The moment you look away from the road, no matter how briefly, the driver slams on the brakes. This causes you to rear-end them.
  • Start and stop. These accidents commonly occur in heavy city or highway traffic. You get used to starting and stopping as traffic ebbs and flows. When the car in front of you speeds up as traffic clears up, you start accelerating as well. They suddenly hit their brakes, giving you no time to react and stop.
  • Swoop and squat. The swoop and squat involves two drivers who are in on the scam and one innocent party. The first driver swoops right in front of you, leaving almost no room between your vehicle and theirs. The second driver then sneaks in front of the other driver and hits their brakes. The middle driver, driver one, then hits their brakes to avoid a crash. Since there’s no room, you hit them. The driver in front leaves the scene, making it look like you just rear-ended the driver for no reason.
  • Wave-in. It’s refreshing to see people wave you into their lane during heavy traffic or allow you to cross their lane to get to your intended lane. Unfortunately, some people use this as a way to scam drivers. They wave you in and then speed up and hit you anyway. When confronted, they claim that they never waved you in.

Stop Giving People the Benefit of the Doubt

Perhaps the best way to avoid a staged car crash is to stop giving people the benefit of the doubt. Just assume that everyone you encounter on the road is either an unsafe or malicious driver. While this seems pretty depressing, it ensures that you leave plenty of space between you and other vehicles, ignore unsafe wave-ins, and protect yourself against every possible outcome.

Follow the Law

Even when it’s inconvenient or others are driving a bit more recklessly, stick to the letter of the law. Leave so much space between you and other vehicles that even if someone swooped in front of you, you would be able to stop. When you’re at an intersection or parking lot exit, follow the laws regarding right of way and ignore wave-ins.

Protect Yourself with a Dashcam

A dashcam is one of the best investments you can make as a driver. Since technology has developed so quickly, you can get a high-quality dashcam without spending a lot of money. A dashcam can help a police officer or your attorney identify the common elements of a staged crash and seek out the liable parties. This is particularly helpful if a driver has been caught executing these schemes before, since your footage may prove their ongoing involvement in a staged car accident ring.

Start Your Personal Injury Claim with Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman

The quicker you contact our team of personal injury lawyers, the sooner we can start building a case for you. To set up a time to talk now, reach out online or call us at 866-565-4949.