Staged traffic accidents are on the rise, endangering the lives and boosting the car insurance rates of innocent drivers who may unwittingly think they're at fault.
Questionable claims from staged accidents increased 46.3 percent from 2007 through 2009, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, or NICB, a nonprofit agency in Des Plaines, Ill., funded by 1,100 property and casualty insurance companies nationwide to fight car insurance fraud and vehicle theft.
According to the NICB, the top five staged accident states for the period were Florida, 3,006; New York, 1,680; California, 1,619; Texas, 792; and Illinois, 433. The five cities with the most staged accident questionable claims were New York, 1,304; Tampa, Fla., 562; Miami, 511; Orlando, Fla., 422; and Houston, 376. (See videos of three common staged accidents below.)