Decorative Halloween pumpkins illuminated with wooden background. 3d illustration
Now that the city has opened back up, it’s likely there will be more trick-or-treaters this Halloween than the past couple years, so please be extra careful. This month, we also discuss wheelchair safety and offer tips for avoiding staged accidents.
The National Safety Council urges motorists to be especially alert on Halloween.
- Watch out for children darting out from between parked cars.
- Watch out for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs.
- Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
- At twilight and later in the evening, watch out for children in dark clothes and costumes.
- If you are the victim of children or teenagers throwing eggs at your vehicle, DO NOT get out of your car and escalate the situation. It is easier and safer to proceed to a car wash.
- Be on the alert for criminals using the cover of Halloween to disguise their appearance.
- Read up on Halloween parade routes before your shift and be patient if you are delayed in traffic as a result of one. It’s for the kids.
All New York City for-hire vehicles (FHVs) must provide service for passengers with wheelchairs.
- Always ask a wheelchair-bound passenger if they would like assistance getting into your vehicle. Make sure they are safely secured.
- Ask wheelchair passengers if they would prefer securing their wheelchair in your vehicle or if they want it in the trunk. If your vehicle is equipped, be sure to properly use all four floor securements, the lap belt and shoulder belt prior to starting your trip.
- Please travel at safe speeds and avoid making unnecessary, unsafe or abrupt stops. Make it as pleasant and comfortable as possible for your passenger.
- For additional information on wheelchair safety, visit https://www1.nyc.gov/site/tlc/about/fhv-accessibility.page.
Signs of a Staged Accident
Some collisions aren’t really accidents at all… they’re carefully planned and executed as part of a criminal plot to commit insurance fraud. The FBI estimates these types of crashes cost the insurance industry $20 billion annually. It’s important that drivers recognize the signs of a staged accident, so they can inform their insurance company about any legitimate suspicions they might have.
The following are some of the common types of staged accidents:
- Swoop and squat: In traffic, a vehicle suddenly pulls up in front of you and then slams on the brakes, causing an intentional rear-end collision.
- Drive down: While you’re attempting to merge into freeway traffic, a driver waves you forward, giving you the right-of-way. But instead of letting you in, they deliberately crash into your vehicle and blame you.
- Sideswipe: You’re making a left turn from a dual-turn lane and your vehicle accidently drifts into the other lane for just a moment. The driver in the other left-turn lane sideswipes you and then accuses you of reckless driving.
- T-Bone: You’re driving through an intersection when another driver deliberately slams into your vehicle and tells police you ran the stop sign.
- The wave: While you’re attempting to change lanes in heavy traffic, another driver gestures you over. Just as you complete the maneuver, they ram into your vehicle and blame you.
After executing one staged accident, some criminals take it a step further by going to another location and staging a second or third crash. They then claim the additional damage was part of the first collision. Other scam participants may include the other vehicle’s passengers, tow-truck drivers, autobody shop employees, doctors, rehab physicians and even lawyers.
The following are signs of a staged accident:
- The driver and passengers all complain of back and neck pain, even though there’s minimal vehicle damage.
- The descriptions of their injuries become more extreme and dramatic when they talk to police or an insurance company representative.
- Additional witnesses suddenly appear at the accident scene, immediately following the crash.
- The driver of the other vehicle offers to find you an auto repair shop, doctor or lawyer.