Chaos following Highway Code changes leads to rise in ‘cash for crash’ scam risk

Nextbase share ‘Crash for Cash’ dash cam footage

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

January’s updates to the Highway Code saw chaos on the nation’s roads as cyclists rode three abreast in the middle of the road and drivers were left confused by who had right of way. It has led to a staggering jump of 500 percent in the sales of dash cams as motorists rush to protect themselves from ‘cash for crash’ scams.

The incidents usually involve pedestrians or cyclists pretending to be hit and injured by cars in order to make a false insurance claim.

Video evidence provided by dash cams helps drivers to avoid these types of claims and possible criminal convictions brought about by them.

Sales of the devices are now at a rate of one every 30 seconds in the UK.

Countries including China and Russia have seen a spate of the scams.

Bryn Brooker, Head of Road Safety at Nextbase, said: “There is widespread concern following these changes and misinformation is causing confusion and panic on UK roads.

“We want to ensure that motorists are aware of this new set of rules as there are some changes around the hierarchy for road users, pedestrian priorities as well as priority for cyclists and horse riders when cars are turning or at junctions.

“There is a real risk that these changes are going to be exploited by criminals in crash for cash incidents.

“If drivers cannot prove they have acted legally, they will now take most if not all responsibility for financial damages and risk prosecution if they cannot prove that cyclists, pedestrians or e-scooter riders are at fault.”

Electric car parked on pavement prompts fierce debate over charging [INSIGHT]
Parking fines ramp up for ‘bay blocking’ electric car spaces [COMMENT]
New parking technology will soon be installed in road cars [ANALYSIS]

Due to the Highway Code updates, car, van and lorry drivers will all have significantly more responsibility for the safety of other road users.

The foremost update was to introduce a ‘hierarchy’ of road users, putting pedestrians at the top, cyclists, motorbike riders and horse riders next, then drivers.

Where motorists cannot prove they acted legally in an incident, they could be responsible for the majority of financial damages and risk potential prosecution if they cannot prove that pedestrians, cyclists or e-scooter riders were at fault.

Mr Brooker added: “Many of the rules in the code are legal requirements, and to disobey these rules is to commit a criminal offence.

“We recommend drivers protect themselves by installing a dash cam into their vehicles to act as an independent witness.”

The problem is so bad in countries like Japan that insurance companies have drafted in artificial intelligence to help with the raft of fake claims.

The AI technology can analyse people on camera to assess whether they are ‘acting’ injured or not.

Five Dash Cam Facts:

Installing a dash cam in your personal or work vehicle can act as an independent witness in the event of an incident.

Research found that installing a dash cam in a vehicle can improve driver behaviour by 33 percent reducing likelihood of an incident by making the driver and other road users more aware of their surroundings and driving behaviour.

With around one in nine UK drivers now owning a dash cam, it is easier than ever for the public to share their experiences of dangerous behaviour on the road. The Nextbase Dash Cam Safety Portal was introduced in 2018, and speeds up police investigations into road offences from 14 hours to 15 minutes.

Despite the name, dash cams are now far more than just a camera. Many have features such as Alexa voice control, what3words, and Emergency SOS – which calls the emergency services in case of a crash, sends them your medical info (with your prior consent), and directs them to your exact location.

Installing a dash cam in your vehicle can reduce insurance premiums, thanks to the benefits of dash cam ownership to both the driver and the insurer.

Source: Read Full Article