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What is brake checking and why do People Do It?

Posted by James Aspell | Jan 21, 2022 | 0 Comments

What Is "Brake Checking" and Why is it so Dangerous?


During brake testing or mostly known as brake checking, you slam on your brakes sharply while driving along with another vehicle so that the unsuspecting car will slam on their brakes as well or swerve out of the way so that you will not cause an accident. Insurance companies consider the fault driver when they can't react in time to an emergency because of their lack of space.

What is brake checking?

A brake check is an illegal act of slamming on your brakes suddenly while behind another motor vehicle. There are several reasons why drivers brake check. All of them aim to provoke some emotion in the driver they are checking. The rear driver is sometimes blamed for the crash because they drive too close to the front vehicle. Some people may dislike this habit, but to address it through brake checking will only cause bodily injury and damage.

However, a brake check is a reckless driving practice. Tailgaters should never stop suddenly and without reason, even though it may be annoying.

What is the point of brake checking?

When a driver suddenly slams on the brakes without reason – such as when stopped at a red light or an obstacle – they may be committing brake checking. It is common for drivers to brake check to communicate their closeness to the vehicle behind them. If other drivers follow too closely, you can brake check as a warning to show the potential problem. Most often, the driver behind is forced to leave more distance.

When driving in these circumstances, brake checking is not the usual dangerous practice method. Pass the driver who is tailgating you by switching lanes calmly. It would help if you did not put yourself at risk by braking checking a driver you are following who is speeding, tailgating, or aggressive driving tactic. Blink when you are safe to do so, and move out of the way of the other driver. You should ignore the driver until you have a chance to change lanes if you are on a two-lane road. Drive around the driver until you are safe on the side of the road if you feel in danger.

Who is at fault when brake checking?

Brake checking is the main form of road rage. Teenagers sometimes use dangerous maneuver like brake check their friends just for fun, causing serious accidents. Both situations involve intentional driver brake checks, which can be used to determine whether a driver is at fault. It is unlikely that either driver would hold any percentage of fault in a legal setting, although this may gain some leverage. Taking actions that are motivated by anger or malice or taking specific careless actions can make you liable.

According to your circumstances, you might be responsible for more blame than the other party, depending on driving aggressively during the accident. Hiring an auto accident lawyer is the best way to seek justice when injured in an accident by brake checking.

However, merely filing a crash lawsuit for a particular case does not guarantee that the case will be tried before a jury. A large number of car accidents are settled long before a jury trial ever takes place. Settlements can be reached at any stage of the lawsuit process.

How to prove brake checking?

It isn't easy to maintain solid evidence that a vehicle brake checked you without a dashboard camera system. As a physical record of what happened, video footage is the most reliable method of proof. Witness statements provide an unbiased witness account of your personal injury claim, making them the second most viable method of support. The drivers' claims are unsupported by any other form of evidence outside of these external verification methods.

The common causes of brake checking accidents

Brake checking is the most common cause of rear-end collisions in cars. The motor vehicle behind the lead car occasionally can't properly stop due to spontaneous brake application by the lead car. It is more likely for this dangerous maneuver to lead to rear-end collisions in low-visibility conditions or situations with other road hazards. The vehicle's passengers being brake checked can suffer serious injuries in rear-end crashes regardless of the circumstances.

Do brake checks affect accident claims?

The rear driver gets blamed in every rear-end accident. It is a common misconception. As a matter of fact, either driver could be at fault in these situations, especially if this aggressive driving habit was involved. In Connecticut, brake checking is illegal as it is considered a road rage incident. Drivers who operate their vehicles recklessly are usually at fault in accidents.

These cases can be difficult to prove, however. You or a loved one might need an auto accident attorney as soon as possible if they were involved in a vehicle accident caused by brake checking. Attorneys can:

  • Ask eyewitnesses whether they saw the brake testing incident
  • If the brake check was captured on camera or video, obtain a copy
  • Examine police reports and accident reports

Georgia does not allow brake checking. Those who deliberately slam on their brakes in the event of an accident can be found liable for any severe injuries they cause. If a driver causes a traffic accident or is injured by reckless driving, an accident report must be filed with the Connecticut DMV.

For help after a car accident, contact our Connecticut Injury Lawyers.

In the event of a brake checking wreck, what should you do?

There are certain steps following a brake check car accident that you take to protect your legal rights. Documentation, video evidence collection, and personal safety are all possible with these steps. There is no need to panic if you cannot follow these steps all at once. If you are hurt after a crash, contact a seasoned Hartford area car accident lawyer.

Here are a few steps you can take after a brake check accident:

  1. Avoid shouting and remain calm. Road rage and driver disputes are frequently involved in brake tests accidents. Maintain calm and rational communication with the other driver.
  2. Get in touch with law enforcement. Be sure you and the other drivers are not injured. Even if the crash is minor, call 911. In case of injury, call an ambulance. Don't forget to document what the police hear when they arrive.
  3. It would help if you did not admit fault. The reckless driver should not be talked to about fault. Your insurance companies and the police will investigate the accident to determine fault, so both of you do not have to admit blame.
  4. Make sure you gather all the information you can. Contact information and names should be exchanged with the other driver. As soon as you can, start writing down your description of the crash. Then take pictures and ask eyewitnesses for their names. Make sure that you record the police report number, as well.
  5. The hospital is the best place to go. It would help if you visited a Hartford hospital without delay before thinking about filing a car insurance claim. Get a copy of all relevant medical records and follow the prescribed treatment plan.


However, your injuries may be serious enough that you need to hold the other driver liable through a personal injury lawsuit. To file a claim, call your insurance company.  Avoid giving a recorded statement or accepting a fast settlement. It is possible to prove negligence attributable to the brake checker. However, if you are injured by a brake check, the at-fault driver can be sued for damages by the accident victim of the brake checking situation.

Getting legal advice before settling your Connecticut car accident claim will help you in the long run. Liability disputes resulting from brake checking accidents can be complicated. It is important to have an experienced lawyer who can advocate for you, protect your rights, file a car accident lawsuit, and help you achieve the best result possible. Contact us immediately to discuss the consequences of a brake checking accident.

About the Author

James Aspell

Principal since August 1, 2006 James F. Aspell is the principal and managing attorney of the firm which he started in 2006 following 20 years of litigation practice in a mid -size firm in Hartford, Connecticut. Jim focuses his practice in the areas of worker's compensation and personal injury l...


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