More than 1,000 innocent motorists are caught up every week in collisions with drivers perpetuating crash scams.
Insurer LV= has estimated that more than 300,000 accidents have been deliberately staged over the past five years by people looking for insurance or compensation payouts.
The best known are “slam on” collisions, where a driver slams the brakes on to cause the car behind to crash into them. They often target females and under 35s as they are perceived as less likely to kick up a fuss about the claim, according to LV=.
There are also “flash for cash” accidents, where a driver will flash their lights to let another car into the traffic but then deliberately crash into the back of them.
Less frequent but more dangerous are “full car” smashes, in which a car load of passengers will stage an accident to generate potentially lucrative personal injury claims.
John O’Roarke, managing director of LV= car insurance, said: “Every year there are tens of thousands of staged accidents, which are putting the safety of innocent motorists at risk. Fraud is not a victimless crime and the cost of paying fraudulent claims drives up the cost of car insurance for all.”