Dash cam sales rocket as Highway Code changes trigger 'crash for cash' fears

Dash cam sales rocket as Highway Code changes trigger 'crash for cash' fears

08 February 2022 | Kate Kozlowska | 6 min read

On January 29, a new set of driving law changes was introduced with the aim of establishing a hierarchy of road users that would ensure the safety of the most vulnerable groups on the road. Several road safety organisations welcomed the massive overhaul of road rules as the changes will move us towards a more equitable system of transportation. According to experts, however, the UK may soon become an insurance fraud heaven, alongside China, Russia, and Japan. This is because the new rules could lower the barriers for potential fraudsters.

Highway Code changes are "likely" to lead to a rapid increase in 'crash for cash' insurance claims

The main objective of crash for cash scams is to profit from fraudulent insurance claims by staging accidents with innocent road users. This is often demonstrated by criminals slamming on the brakes without any apparent reason or flashing their lights at a junction and then deliberately crashing. 

The dash cam manufacturer, Nextbase, warns motorists to be wary of this new type of motoring fraud, which is much easier to organise and commit than the traditional vehicle-on-vehicle crimes. Bryn Brooker, Nextbase's head of road safety, said: "There is a real risk that these changes are going to be exploited by criminals in crash for cash incidents.

Similar warnings have been made by fleet decision-makers. Fleet panellists discussed the new 'Hierarchy of Users' regulations during the January Fleet News at 10 broadcast, sponsored by Chargepoint. The panel welcomed any measures which prioritise pedestrians and cyclists' safety. They believed, however, that unscrupulous miscreants might take advantage of the revisions to file false injury claims. 

After the changes to the Highway Code, motorists are urged to invest in dashcams for their own protection

According to the new Highway Code, drivers of cars, vans, and lorries now have a greater responsibility for road safety. In addition, cyclists are encouraged to ride in the middle of lanes on quiet roads and when approaching junctions.

Since drivers now have a greater responsibility, they will likely be liable for the majority, if not all, of the damages and could even be prosecuted if they cannot prove that the pedestrian, cyclist, or electric scooter rider was at fault. 

“Especially when a pedestrian walks out without looking. It means dashcams will become more relevant and crucial in defending potential claims,” said Matt Hammond, head of fleets for M Group Services,  for Fleet News at 10 panel.

Fraudsters may target fleet operators with branded vehicles in an attempt to obtain more money from a potential claim.  Matt National Grid fleet manager Lorna McAtear agrees: “We will see initially an increase in crash for cash until people realise that fleets do have cameras". "Fleets need to be wary of this. It will be a genuine issue.”

Bryn Brooker explains further: “Many of the rules in the Code are legal requirements, and to disobey these rules is to commit a criminal offence, added Bryn Brooker. “We recommend drivers protect themselves by installing a das hcam into their vehicles to act as an independent witness.”

Nextbase has already recorded a 500% increase in dashcam sales since the new rules came into effect, with motorists buying a dashcam every 30 seconds. Drivers are concerned that they could be subject to costly claims if they can't prove they acted legally. 

The revised Highway Code contains three major changes

Rule H1, which places greater responsibility on drivers of larger vehicles to take care of vulnerable road users, was one of three major additions to the Highway Code. It is also their responsibility to take care of others on the road, such as pedestrians, horse riders, and cyclists.

Rule H2 also focuses on protecting more vulnerable road users, with pedestrians receiving special consideration when crossing at intersections. It is the responsibility of all road users to give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross a road into which they are turning. 

Rule H3 also highlights junctions and advise motorists to avoid cutting across cyclists, horse riders or horse-drawn vehicles or causing them to swerve or be forced to stop. Instead, they should wait until there is a safe gap before making their manoeuvre.

 

Is it worth having a dashcam? Absolutely! If you are involved in an accident, or witness one, having a dash cam in your van or car will provide you with solid evidence. It can assist police in hit-and-run cases, or if you capture footage of someone who is driving under the influence. With the recent changes to the Highway Code, it is extra important to install a wide-angle dash cam that can also capture pedestrians, cyclists, and other road users that may endanger you. We highly recommend that you do so. You can request a dashcam installed in the new vehicle that you lease with us - just please let us know when requesting a quote. Are you still looking for your perfect car or van deal? Click the button below and check out our current specials! 

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