Thomas Carroll Blauvelt

Brake checking could put your life at risk

When you’re on the roads, you know that you have to be cautious about the way you drive. You need to follow the rules and pay attention to the road.

If you get too close to another driver, you may not be able to stop if they have to stop quickly. Most people won’t stop suddenly without a reason, but there are some people who will get frustrated by others following them too closely and decide to slam on their brakes.

This action, called brake checking, is not legal. Nor is tailgating. In this situation, two wrongs don’t make a right, and your life could be put at risk by their willingness to cause a collision.

Why do people brake check others?

The main reason that people decide to brake check other people is emotional instability. They may be feeling stressed or anxious, angry or frustrated. If they develop road rage and feel like you’re following them too closely, they may tap their brakes or slam them on to see if they can cause you to crash into them.

In most cases, when someone hits someone from the rear, the rear vehicle’s driver is held accountable. As a result, brake checking could, hypothetically, lead to a crash that you would end up paying for. The reason? You shouldn’t have been “tailgating” or “driving so closely you couldn’t stop.”

People who brake check sometimes catch others off-guard when they’re too close to them, but other times they’ll brake check traffic behind them several times in a row. Doing this makes other drivers get closer and closer until a crash occurs.

What should you do if someone is braking erratically?

If someone is showing signs of brake checking, back away from them. Even if that means pulling over and letting them drive away, staying away from them will keep you safer.

If they cause a crash, make sure you report that they were acting erratically before they suddenly stopped. This dangerous behavior, especially paired with an angry driver’s actions, could help you prove that road rage was the cause of the crash and that you deserve to be compensated.

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