The Dangers of Brake Checking

car accident

It’s hard to avoid the temptation to brake check the person tailgating too. Unfortunately, brake checking comes with a wide variety of dangers and misconceptions about the fault. Brake checking someone does not automatically mean that you’re going to get a nice fluffy check from an insurance company. 

Brake checking also does not mean that you’re going to walk away from that crash unscathed. The dangers of brake checking are extensive, and people often learn about them too late to do anything about it.

Tailgating is annoying, it is frustrating, and it can cause quite a lot of anxiety. Still tailgating is no excuse for putting your safety and the safety of others at risk. Brake checking is not worth any insurance check that you might get, and it’s not worth the possibility of severe injury. 

If you’re the victim of someone’s brake checking, contact our Atlanta car accident attorneys today.

What is “Brake Checking”?

Brake checking is the act of unexpectedly slamming on your brakes because the person behind you is tailgating or following too closely. Brake checking is not legal; it can lead to serious injury including a wreck with fatalities.

However, people often rationalize the active brake checking by stating that they were simply trying to get the other driver to stop tailgating. Tailgating is frustrating, but it is not caused to put so many people’s lives in danger. When one driver brake checks the person behind them, then that second driver may expectedly slam into the back of the person who was brake checking them.

However, that may not be the result of the brake check. Brake checking can also lead to the person who was tailgating suddenly swerving lanes and causing a multi-vehicle accident.

When Should You Do It?

Never. Never ever break-check anyone. If someone is tailgating you, attempt to change lanes. If you cannot change lanes, then maintain speed and when it is possible, change lanes or exit that road entirely. 

There are aggressive drivers, and there are drivers who are prone to assault in the event of an accident. Brake checking someone who is willing or ready to have a fight or commit assault because of an accident that they don’t think they caused is not worth it.

Additionally, break checkers can take liability for the action. The only reason you had to brake-check somebody was that you were upset, then you could share responsibility, and you could share responsibility in a 50-50 division. But if you can prove that the brake checking was reckless driving, then there may be bigger issues at hand.

But If the Person Hits Me From Behind, It’s Their Fault

Not always. Acting out of anger, malice, or taking specific negligent action can put you at fault too. The Georgia Department of Transportation has a myriad of laws about protecting drivers and passengers on the road. 

Essentially, you’re not only at fault because you put one other driver at risk. You’re at fault in a brake checking situation, or at least partial fault, because you put the safety of everyone else on the road at risk.

Typically in brake check situations, one person will argue that the brake check was harmless, and the other will argue that they weren’t intentionally tailgating. The trouble with this thinking is that it doesn’t tie in with how insurance companies or the state would determine fault. 

It does not matter how you feel, how you felt at the time, or if you believed you were teaching another driver a lesson.

What Are the Penalties for Brake Checking in Georgia?

Penalties for brake checking are harsh, and in some cases, you may be looking at a license suspension or jail time. Since brake checking is classified under aggressive and reckless driving, you may be looking at the following penalties:

  • Up to 12 months jail time and a fine of up to $5,000
  • Six points deduction on your driving record
  • License suspension for drivers with less than perfect driving records

What to Do After a Brake Checking Wreck

You can take steps following a brake check car accident to uphold your legal rights and ensure you get medical attention and the compensation you need. Here are some things you can do:

  1. Remain calm and assess the situation.
    This can be difficult, especially if you’re injured, but it’s important not to resort to road rage and assess the situation as best you can. Check yourself and your passengers for injuries and if anyone is injured, call 911 immediately.
  1. Call the police and make sure to file a report.
    Notifying law enforcement gives you an official document to back up your claim and will be helpful when dealing with your insurance company.
  1. Gather evidence at the scene if you’re able to.
    Take photos of the damage to both vehicles, get the other driver’s contact information and insurance information, and speak to any witnesses. If possible, collect video evidence by requesting dash cam footage from nearby drivers.
  1. See a doctor as soon as possible.
    Even if you don’t think you’re injured, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible. Often, injuries from car accidents don’t present themselves until days or even weeks after the accident occurred.
  2. Contact an experienced car accident attorney.
    An attorney can help you navigate the complex legal process, deal with insurance companies, and fight for the compensation you deserve.


Why Do I Need a Car Accident Attorney?

A brake checking conviction in Georgia is a serious offense that can lead to jail time, a fine, and a points deduction on your driving record. It can also be costly if you’re facing a lawsuit from the other driver.

An experienced car accident attorney can help you protect your rights, build a strong case, and guarantee max compensation. A few steps that they can take include:

  1. Investigating the accident and collecting evidence
    Often, an experienced attorney will have a team of investigators that can help gather evidence to support your case.
  2. Reconstructing the accident
    To better understand what happened, your attorney may hire an accident reconstructionist. This person can help to piece together how the accident occurred based on evidence collected at the scene.
  3. Filing a lawsuit
    If necessary, your attorney will file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf. Having an attorney by your side during this process can be invaluable as they will know how to navigate the legal system and negotiate with insurance companies.
  4. Dealing with insurance companies
    Insurance companies will fight hard to avoid paying out on a claim. An attorney can help level the playing field and ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
  5. Calculating your damages
    Attorneys can estimate the value of your case and make sure that you are compensated for all of your damages, both economic and non-economic.

You should never have to go through this process alone. If you or someone you love has been injured in a brake checking accident, contact the personal injury lawyers at The Weinstein Firm.

Finding Support From Local Atlanta Car Accident Lawyers at The Weinstein Firm

Are you the victim of a brake-checking driver? Is it possible that you have to reasonably apply brakes to stop and the other person was simply following too closely?

Brake checking accidents are a two-way street. If someone used brake checking to cause an accident and you were rear-ended, you may not be as much at fault as you initially believed.

Additionally, if you were the one who had to hit your brakes, then you may have an upcoming legal battle about whether you were brake-checking the person or not.

If you’re experiencing some trouble with your insurance claim or resolving your crash, then you need an Atlanta car accident attorney. A local Atlanta car accident lawyer from the Weinstein Firm and how you use the evidence from your case to prove that you were doing the best you could in the situation.

Contact our law firm for support and don’t go into insurance negotiations or a battle for compensation alone. We offer free consultations, and you pay nothing unless we win your case.

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