News, Interviews, and Happenings From The Trucking World

Sorted By:

Tag

Trucking Industry Concerns (30) Trucking News (25) Truckers Technology (21) FMCSA (15) Advice For New Truck Drivers (13) Truck Driver Safety (12) Autonomous Trucks (11) Adverse Conditions (11) Trucking Accidents (11) Hours Of Service (10) Safe Driving Tips (10) Driver Solutions (10) Driver Responsibilities (10) Self-Driving Vehicles (10) Truck Equipment (9) Life On The Road (9) Hard Lessons Learned (9) The Economy And Politics (8) Becoming A Truck Driver (7) Truck Driver Training (7) Owner Operator (7) Truck Driver Salary (6) DOT (6) Electric Semi (6) Choosing A Trucking Company (6) Truck Stops (6) Medical Certification (5) Changing Careers (5) Understanding The Laws (5) Truck Maintenance (5) Trip Planning (5) CDL Qualifications (4) Safe Haven (4) Swift Transport (4) Trailers (4) Getting Your CDL (4) CDL Training (4) Drug and Alcohol Testing (4) Electronic Logbooks (4) TMC Transportation (4) Split Sleeper Berth Rule (3) First Solo Months On The Road (3) Women In Trucking (3) DOT Physical (3) Dealing With The Weather (3) Truck Driving Stories (3) Distracted Driving (3) Truck Driving Lifestyle (3) Cell Phone & Wireless (3) Tips for Parking (2) Dry van (2) Time Management (2) NYC (2) Knight Transport (2) Logbook Questions (2) Military Veterans In Trucking (2) Prime Inc (2) CR England (2) Background Checks (2) CDL Exam (2) Return-to-Duty (2) Pre-trip inspection (PTI) (2) Guns In Trucking (2) Dispatcher Issues (2) Regional Jobs (2) Health Concerns (2) PAM Transport (2) Refrigerated (1) Load Securement (1) Dealing With The Boss (1) Sleep Apnea (1) US Xpress Transport (1) Drivers Past Legal Issues (1) Driving Record Issues (1) On The Road In Training (1) Trucker's Family Matters (1) First Truck Driving Job (1) Unions In Trucking (1) Home Time (1) ODFL (1) Winter Driving Tips (1) Pre-Employment Screening Program (1) Weapons (1) Schneider National (1) Videos (1) Per Diem Pay (1) CDL Test Preparation (1) Recruiter Issues (1) Company Trainers (1) Crete Carrier (1) CDL Pre-Hire (1) Firearms (1) Exercise and Fitness (1) Older truck drivers (1) Choosing A Truck Driving School (1) LTL Driving (1) Maverick Transport (1) SAP (1) Food & Eating On The Road (1) Items To Bring On The Road (1) Truck Drivers Tax Questions (1) Doubles and Triples (1) Werner Enterprises (1) Roehl Transport (1) Free CDL Training (1) Company Sponsored CDL Training (1) JB Hunt (1)

Author

Date

Memorial Day holiday is prime time for cargo thefts 5/25/2019 Friday Short Haul - Hauling hemp, road rage fatality, new rules for autonomous vehicles 5/24/2019 Autonomous trucks on USPS test run 5/22/2019 Future era of cab-less trucks will be the end of HOS rules 5/20/2019 Friday Short Haul - FMCSA under-21 comments, Tesla autonomous car crash, 24,000 drivers sign contract with YRC 5/17/2019 Under-21 interstate drivers getting serious look by FMCSA 5/15/2019 Trucker Buddy program matches drivers with a classroom; everyone wins 5/13/2019 Friday Short Haul - Driver awarded $80 million, ODFL driver wins, loading dock black hole 5/10/2019 Storm breaks out from Rockies, slams into Midwest, South 5/8/2019 Capacity issues have shippers looking at private fleets 5/6/2019 Friday Short Haul - HOS rules, dark skies, Falcon drivers 5/3/2019 'Bug' permits now required for four eastern states 5/1/2019 Simulator use is catching on for schools, carriers 4/29/2019 Friday Short Haul - Thinking electric, Penske opens charging station, border crossing crisis, railroads taking trucking business 4/26/2019 ELDs might not be the panacea that was hoped for 4/24/2019 Truck drivers may soon see "phantoms" driving yard trucks 4/22/2019 Friday Short Haul - Nikola big rigs, WIT welcomes Peterbilt, Oregon crashes, Border crossings 4/19/2019 Carriers claim financial benefit of putting up drivers in hotels 4/17/2019 Uber's IPO application reveals interesting data about its freight brokerage business 4/15/2019 Friday Short Haul - CDL examiner arrested, tolls proposed for trucks, marijuana use on the rise 4/12/2019 Smart Load Board will get carriers the loads they need 4/10/2019 Huge lines and long wait times greet carriers at Mexico border 4/8/2019 Friday Short Haul - Marijuana, ATA campaign, personal conveyance rules 4/5/2019 Over-the-air downloads revolutionize parameter updates 4/3/2019 Don't get scammed by skimmers 4/1/2019 Friday Short Haul -- New Cascadias honored, motorist survey, U.S, Xpress awarded, rest stop parking 3/29/2019 Legislators address underride collisions, propose more underguards for trucks, trailers 3/27/2019 Motorists soon may encounter a different kind of truck convoy 3/25/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Women in Trucking, irate motorist, FMCSA eases HOS, Safe-Cap 3/22/2019 Recent survey shows cost of roadside repairs is rising 3/20/2019 FMCSA announces drug and alcohol clearinghouse website 3/18/2019 Friday Short Haul - Swift settlement, driver shortage myth, TCA Best Fleet award 3/15/2019 The hidden danger of looking but not seeing 3/13/2019 Accident scammers target trucks for financial payout 3/11/2019 3/9/2019 3/9/2019 Friday Short Haul - Snow on the roof, bypassing toll road, Waze under fire 3/8/2019 Retailers blame driver shortage for price increases 3/6/2019 Drivers' smartphones may be clue to road roughness 3/4/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Freight rates, HOS changes, tonnage reports 3/1/2019 New tax changes hit drivers hard 2/27/2019 FMCSA to implement under-21 interstate driver program for former military 2/25/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Connecticut tolls proposed, hydrogen fuel-cell trucks, cell phone use 2/22/2019 Congress committee looks at state of America's highways 2/20/2019 Number of cargo thefts is down; but dollar value about the same 2/18/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Crossing the border, CA sues FMCSA, Lobbying against larger trucks 2/15/2019 Detention - A problem still in search of a solution 2/13/2019 February Highway Angels honorees named 2/11/2019 Friday Short Haul -- C.R. England announces pay raises, eCommerce impact on trucking, TCA announces best fleets 2/8/2019 Is a guaranteed minimum pay the solution to the driver shortage? 2/6/2019 Long CDL testing wait times cost economy billions of dollars; not helping driver shortage 2/4/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Walmart hiring, Uber Freight App, Speed-limiter Law, America's Road Team 2/1/2019 Cranking -- The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly 1/30/2019 California survives challenge to its low-carbon fuel standards 1/28/2019 Friday Short Haul - Highway robbery ... autonomous trucks ... new trailers 1/25/2019 LithiumHub enters jump-starter market with Jumpbooster JP30 1/23/2019 2019 Looks Good For The Transportation Industry 1/21/2019 Raymond Burt named TMC Trainer of the Month for February 2018 3/28/2018 TMC Transportation Announces Recipient of Prestigious Wheel Master Award 3/7/2018 TMC Transportation Named The Home Depot’s Flatbed Carrier of the Year For Fourth Straight Year 2/28/2018 Pay Raises & New Peterbilts for PAM Drivers 2/26/2018 New DOT Drug Testing Rules Effective Jan 1, 2018 1/11/2018 Amtrak Derailment: Trucks Haul 270,000 Pound Locomotive Engine During Cleanup 12/21/2017 Pepsi Places Largest Order Yet For Tesla Electric Trucks 12/12/2017 Kavin Hallett named Trainer of the Month for October 2017 12/8/2017 Over 100,000 Truck Drivers Likely Have Undiagnosed Sleep Apnea And More Testing Is On The Way 8/10/2017 Drivers Share Their Best Tips, Tricks, And Secrets For Life On The Road 7/18/2017 Drivers Are Losing Money By Taking The Wrong Approach 7/13/2017 Truckers and Guns: What Is and Is Not Legal 7/6/2017 Preparing To Go Solo For The First Time? Experienced Drivers Share Their Best Advice 6/29/2017 The Truck Stop Survival Guide: Advice From Experienced Drivers 6/15/2017 The Worst Cities For Traffic In The U.S. For 2017 6/8/2017 We Ask Drivers How They Would Make The Logbook Rules Better 5/30/2017 Self Driving Trucks Are Not Coming Anytime Soon 5/25/2017

Accident scammers target trucks for financial payout

Dave Wickenhauser on Mon, March 11, 2019

Last Updated: Sun, March 10, 2019

Cartoon by Sarah Wickenhauser

A spate of fake accident claims against commercial vehicles in the New Orleans area highlights a growing problem for trucking companies.

Robert Runnels, a driver for Mississippi-based Whitestone Transportation, learned the hard way what it is like being targeted by a "cash for crash" scam. He told how he was flagged down by a motorist on Interstate 10 a little over a year ago and informed that his 18-wheeler had sideswiped another vehicle.

There was no damage to his truck, however, and there were no impact alerts recorded on his on-board data system.

That lack of evidence has not stopped the "victims" from suing, and Whitestone is set for trial this month facing what they believe is an obviously fake accident scheme that is out to reap a hefty reward from the commercial carrier. The complainants, there were several in the vehicle, are seeking $1 million in damages from the carrier for medical expenses, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, physical pain and suffering and inconvenience.

During preparations for the trail Whitestone's attorneys have discovered evidence of more than 30 other "accidents" in the New Orleans area with similar MOs to their own incident.

“These similar questionable facts included alleged accidents on Interstate 10 and/or 610 in the New Orleans area where an unknown third vehicle waves down an 18-wheeler driver that is unaware that he or she was allegedly involved in an accident,” Whitestone attorneys said in a counterclaim.

According to the Transport Topics news article, the New Orleans area has been experiencing a large number of similar cases that involve multiple people in a vehicle that sideswipes a commercial truck, but where there is little damage to their vehicle, and little or no damage to the commercial vehicle.

Furthermore, the commercial vehicle driver usually is unaware of having hit another vehicle.

The problem is that these scammers know that trucking companies are easy pickings for their scam.

Chance McNeely, executive director of the Louisiana Motor Transport Association, says why he believes trucking companies are victims of such staged accidents. “In our state, trucks are guilty until proven innocent,” he said.

“It’s always the same thing: Four people in a sedan, and there’s always a random witness who gives a loose statement to the cops and has a random appointment and has to get away," McNeely said. "And all too often they use the same attorneys and the same doctors."

McNeely said these kinds of scams drive up insurance rates; which he said in Louisiana are three to five times higher than the national average.

A short history of staged accidents

A blog at Automotive Fleet magazine gives some insight into this staged accident scenario.

Apparently this phenomenon got legs in the United States in the 1990 by scammers who would hire immigrants for as little as $100 to cause a crash with a commercial vehicle. Authorities became aware of the scam when one driver, Jose Luis Lopez Perez, died in his effort to effect the scam and it was discovered that he was part of a widespread fraud ring.

These "cash for crash" schemes are becoming a world-wide problem, with countries like the United Kingdom, Russia, Australia and Singapore reporting escalating incidences.

In the United States, the states most prone to commercial vehicles being targeted by these scams are what are called no-fault states, where laws require insurance companies to reimburse policyholders for medical expenses no matter who is at fault.

The states with the highest number of these incidences are Florida, New York, California, Texas and Illinois, with the top five cities being New York City, Tampa, Miami, Orlando, and Houston.

What are the typical staged accidents

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, there are some typical scenarios that will get a commercial driver ensnared in a fake accident scam. The more-sophisticated scammers have "witnesses" to these fake accidents who add their stories to the police reports implicating the innocent truck drivers.

  • The Drive Down -- On entering traffic the truck driver is motioned by a "helpful" scammer motorist that it is safe to do so. But, as the driver begins to merge, the scammer speeds up and crashes into the truck. Naturally, the scammer denies making the helpful gesture.
  • The Left Turn – A truck driver wants to make a left turn off the road into a destination and receives a gesture from a "helpful" motorist to go ahead and complete his turn. The scammer then speeds up and crashes into the truck, knowing that in virtually every case the truck driver will be "at fault" for failure to yield to oncoming traffic.
  • The Panic Stop – A vehicle driving in front of a truck has a passenger watch for the truck driver to avert his gaze for a second who then alerts the scam driver to make a panic stop. When the truck rear-ends the vehicle it is a guaranteed win for the scammer because virtually everywhere it is considered the truck driver's fault for following too close.
  • The Panic Stop With Friend – Same as the panic stop, but even more aggressive. This is where the scammer has an accomplice or two who drive alongside the victim trucker, thus preventing him or her from being able to change lanes to avoid the collision with the panic stopper.
  • The Side Swipe – This one usually occurs at double left-turn lanes where the scammer side swipes the truck claiming the truck driver had driven outside his lane.

How to Avoid Becoming a Victim

The NICB offers these tips to avoid becoming a victim of these types of fake accident scams:

  • Avoid tailgating.
  • Immediately call the police to an accident scene.
  • Use the camera function on your cell phone or carry a disposable camera to document damage and the number of occupants in other vehicles.
  • Avoid “runners” and “cappers” – people who suddenly appear at an accident scene to try to direct you to particular doctors and attorneys, as they are typically part of the criminal scheme.
  • Be wary of physicians who insist you file a personal injury claim after an accident, especially if you are not hurt.
  • Steer clear of tow trucks that appear when you have not called for service, as they are often “cappers” for body shops.

Sources: Transport Topics, Automotive Fleet, NICB

Tagged Under:

Advice For New Truck Drivers Hard Lessons Learned Safe Driving Tips Truck Driver Safety Trucking Accidents Trucking Industry Concerns

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More