Friday, 16 August 2013

Reports are being made about the rise of "flash for cash" style claims that are arising. This typically involves somebody waiting to pull out at a junction from a minor road and an approaching car on the main road flashes their lights to gesture the motorist out. The person waiting to pull out pulls out and the other motorist deliberately crashes into them.

In this situation the person pulling out will be found fully at fault for the collision as the other motorist had right of way. In addition, the flashing of headlights is not an actual legitimate way of "giving way" to another motorist as far as the Highway Code is concerned. The flashing of lights is merely to warn other motorists you are there and should not be taken as a signal inviting you to proceed.

More concerning is that these styles of accidents are inherently dangerous for the person pulling out as a side-on impact will most likely arise. It can often be more vulnerable road users who are picked on by criminal gangs and opportunistic individuals such as women with their children in the car or elderly people. Basically people who are more likely to be distracted by the welfare of their children after a collision or not put up much of a protest.

Lee Jones, Managing Director of Free Motor Legal, says that motorists have to be on the lookout for this behaviour. "If you do rely on somebody flashing their lights as a sign they are letting you go, take a moment to observe what they are doing. Are they slowing down and is there plenty of distance between you? Should the worst happen and you are caught in an incident like this, then you need to do your best to get evidence there and then. You need to grab details of any witnesses who may support your story that the other party flashed their lights and then simply drove into you. Call the police if anybody is injured or you suspect a deliberate collision has been caused."

Often the other person will back down if they have been up to no good, but it is important to still get the police on the scene as although they may back down at the scene, there is nothing to stop them still making a claim later on and then it is their word against yours and in this situation they will quite likely win.

Fortunately, members of get an accident survival pack when they register for free with our website. This is placed in your glove box and acts as a handy tool to use as a guide on the information you need to be capturing after a collision. Being in a crash is a stressful experience and many motorists forget to record key information that leaves them in difficulty either proving their claim against the other party or defending a spurious claim.

Free Motor Legal is the leading alternative to buying costly motor legal protection insurance. We look after our members in exactly the same way that a person with pre-paid legal cover would be treated, but we have not charged a premium and there is no need to renew annually as membership is for life. Find out more at

A news report for this appears on the BBC News website


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