Being involved in a car crash is stressful no matter where, when, or how it happens. The "why," however, may matter if the crash isn't an accident. It's estimated that thousands of collisions in the U.S. each year are the work of criminals who prey on unsuspecting drivers, and many purposefully instigate crashes so they can file fraudulent claims.1
Staged collisions can be just as dangerous as an everyday crash. Luckier victims may escape with minor vehicle damage and higher premiums. Those less fortunate may be sued, traumatized, or even injured or killed. Drivers can protect themselves by recognizing potentially staged situations while driving, and taking smart steps after being involved in any crash.
Staged collisions take three basic forms. The first of these is the "swoop and squat," in which another car cuts in front of you without warning and then suddenly stops, leading you to rear-end it before you can react.
This maneuver occurs when you're making a turn from the inside lane of a dual-lane right or left turn and are then intentionally struck.