If you’re driving and see someone slower than you on the road ahead, it’s important for you to approach the situation respectfully. If you’re allowed to pass, you could attempt to pass them. If you can’t pass, you should slow down to give them space until you can.
Getting too close to the vehicle in front of you could put you at risk of getting into a crash because of brake checking. Brake checking happens when someone slams on their brakes to get some kind of reaction from the person behind them.
The problem with brake checking is that not all people are paying extremely close attention, and the shorter distance between the vehicles greatly increases the risk of a serious collision happening.
Brake checking another person is not legal
It’s not legal for someone to intentionally try to cause a collision, but it can be hard to prove that they did a “brake check” on you. The driver could claim that they had to stop quickly for a hazard in the roadway or because of other drivers, and any crash caused by you hitting their rear could fall on your shoulders.
That being said, since brake checking another person isn’t legal, you can make your case if you think the other person was brake checking you.
How can you avoid a brake-checking crash?
To avoid a crash, the thing you need to do is give yourself more distance. If the person in front of you is acting oddly, slowing down or slamming on their brakes or acting recklessly, stay as far away from them as you can.
Call 911 if the situation continues to create a hazard
If they continue to try to brake check you or others on the road, it’s reasonable for you to remember their license plate number and call the police. The police can stop the vehicle and talk to the driver to make sure everything is okay and that they understand the hazard they’re causing. If you report the incident, you may get a dangerous driver off the roads and avoid a crash yourself.