As the name suggests, brake checking is a procedure that involves a driver or car owner slamming hard on the brake pedal. The driver may also simply severally tap on the brakes.
The rationale behind it, more often than not, is to check how closely the rear driver is following. You can slam hard on your brake pedal to warn the rear driver to keep the recommended reasonable distance.
While different drivers hit the road every day with different aims such as meeting up with appointments on time, others may be in a hurry to know how responsive their brake is. This is often known as a brake check or brake test.
A brake check refers to an occurrence where the driver intentionally hits the brake many times or slams the pedal hard to notify the driver behind them of their closeness to the front vehicle.
Most times, drivers involved in this kind of situation are either caught in a fast lane or both parties moving at a certain speed. Brake checking can also mean an intentional signal to inform the driver behind you to get off from behind you.
Since there are lots of vehicles on the road at the same time, you may have experienced this occurrence, even once in a while.
Whether you have experienced brake checking or you are just a witness, the point is that this kind of occurrence isn’t strange to anyone. While drivers are fond of brake checking, it is not a safe thing to practice, whether it is intentionally done or not.
Why Do You Need To Brake Check?
Many may have an idea of what is brake checking but may have no idea why drivers brake-check each other while in motion. To have deep knowledge about what is brake checking, it is important to take a look into some of its concepts.
Break checking reasons below:
- Send warning signals to rear drivers: Drivers use brake checking on highways to notify or send signals to other drivers who are closer to the tail to get off. Ideally, the safe following distance should be 3 seconds.
However, in poor traffic conditions, drivers may want to signal the rear driver to double their following distance. But for heavy-duty vehicle drivers, you can brake check to inform them to increase the following distances.
- Deliberate crashing into front driver: To intentionally get involved in a crash with another driver. This may sound weird but it is real. Some drivers deliberately crashed into other cars in front of them. The intention of crashing is not for the fun of it. It’s sometimes sinister. They intend to make some money off the collision. If they succeed in arguing their case, the colliding driver will either receive compensation in the form of damages or an insurance payout. Sometimes, they get both.
If your vehicle is a business car leasing or personal car leasing, you can be in for serious expenses as you have to do all repairs on the car before returning to the leaser.
- Frustrating another driver to make him swerve out of your lane or out of the road.
- Startling others to make them tap on their brakes.
Usually, most drivers find brake checking as the most obvious reason to send warnings to drivers that are driving too close to stop. This motive could, however, have more consequences than just using it as a quick warning.
The intention of the front driver may be to startle and slam on the brake or getting close drivers to swerve off-road. Certain drivers, in some extreme cases, may even want to be involved in a crash the vehicle close behind them.
Why You May Be A Victim?
You may be left wondering why you are a victim of brake checking if you have ever been involved in it. It leaves to with lots of puzzles to solve why you have been the victim to be targeted. You may find out why the driver has chosen your car to test his brake slamming skills from the below couple of reasons.
- Many drivers will use your car for brake checking if they think you have cut them off.
- Aggressiveness is one of the reasons you are brake-checked. Many drivers think you show aggression behind the wheel. They may also think you are slow, especially if they are out for an urgent reason or your moves seem to be inconsiderate.
- Personal issues with other drivers may also be the reason another driver has smashed you from behind.
- You can be a victim of brake checking if a driver needs insurance money. It is often referred to as a crash for cash by some people.
Considering the above reasons, they are all connected to poor or inconsiderate driving. A few things may infuriate other drivers while driving and when this happens, they may be forced to race ahead of you and slam on their brakes suddenly and quickly.
Should you not be guilty of the above-mentioned reasons, it does not still mean you were or will be a victim of brake checking. Personal issues with drivers may lead to frustrating drivers to brake-check you, especially if there’s a need to get money from insurance. However, knowing the best thing to do when a situation such as this occurs will help handle it properly.
Tips For Handling Break Check
Knowing what is brake checking and how to deal with it is one of the best ways to stay out of trouble. Now that you already have an idea about it, there are certain things to know when you are brake-checked to help you handle the situation. Here are some of the tips to help you deal with brake checking if you fall victim.
- Avoid moving close to any vehicle as it can be difficult to know the motives of drivers at times. Keep some distance if you suspect anger in the driver’s mode of driving.
- Take note of early signals or earnings from the driver.
- To avoid being confronted, it’s best to pull over into a well-populated and lit environment.
One of the important things to note when dealing with brake checking is paying maximum attention. You’ve got to keep yourself informed of the early warning signs. If you notice anger in the way another driver is driving, they may send you signals by waving or any other hand signs which may be accompanied by yelling at you.
They may even try to get ahead of you as quickly as possible. When they do this, it is often an indication they are angry which may result in brake checking your car. These tell-tale signs are good enough to warn you they may be desperate to create a crash by brake-checking you. You should, however, distance yourself from drivers who exhibit this driving behavior.
If the situation becomes more intense and you cannot keep up with it anymore, it is best to drive into a well-lit area, especially a crowded environment should the driver want to dangerously confront you.
Is Brake Checking Illegal?
Yes. You should take my word for it. Brake checking is an illegal thing to do whether you’re driving on the highway or along the street. It is classified as one of the illegal and dangerous driving practices. It comes with a huge fine, including a penalty that could see violators spend up to 2 years behind bars.
This consequence can be more, and rightly so if the collision results in the death of the rear of the front car. The law stipulates a maximum of 14 years for a brake checking that causes death. Meanwhile, the fine is unlimited.
Brake Checking Prevention Tips
Certain tips can help you prevent brake checking. It can, however, be troublesome to get involved in a situation where you argue with another driver when you are brake-checked. The following few tips will help you prevent drivers from brake checking if followed perfectly.
- Safe driving: Safety comes first each time you find yourself driving. While you consider yourself, it is best to always consider the safety of others. Drive safely and considerably all the time.
- By avoiding riding another driver’s tail, you are cutting down the chances of being brake-checked by other drivers. As others are considerate about keeping a pace between them and others, you should also try to do the same and not drive into other’s tail.
- A good distance between you and other drivers is a guaranteed way of avoiding brake checking between you and others.
- The speed limit is one of the important factors to consider. Follow the speed limit and also ensure to remain in the right lane, regardless of the number of cars on your lane.
- It is best to always have a camera on the dashboard. You will easily have a view of what is going on behind you.
- Always use your mirror from time to time. It is often inscribed on mirrors that “objects in mirror are closer than they seem” if you notice too much closeness between you and the vehicle behind you, you may need to add a little speed if there is no vehicle ahead of you.
What If You’re Being Brake Checked: What Should You Do?
If you’re at the receiving end of a brake checker, there are things you can do to avoid these antics. As a general rule of thumb, you should try to widen the space between you and the brake-checking motorist who’s.
While a 3-second gap is recommended, you can double the gap to 5 or 6 seconds. This way, you can slow down so you can have a clear understanding of what the front driver is trying to do.
Rather than moving closer to the brake checker, keep your distance and alert the driver coming from behind you to be wary.
Additionally, you can avoid the double tragedy of having to pay damages to the brake checker and the rear motorist. As much as it is important to avoid a brake checker, don’t be accused of tailgating either. If you tailgate, it means you’re keeping the safe following distance.
Can You Get The Police To Intervene In A Brake-Checking Incident?
Whether you understand what is break checking or not, any reported case is always welcomed by the police, regardless of the level of severity. However, it can sometimes be difficult for police to take any action unless you provide enough evidence at the scene where the incident took place.
Fortunately, actions may be taken if you have enough evidence such as video footage of how the incident took place as recorded by your passengers. For cars with cameras on their dashboards, it is easier to capture scenes such as this. However, a reported case such as this without having evidence may not be treated as it can be difficult to ascertain who is wrong or right.
If you find yourself in a case whereby your car has been damaged and the driver is nowhere to be found after making contact with your car, you may report this type of occurrence. Report such is this is always welcome if you have the registration plate details, especially if the driver in question fails to exchange insurance details with you.
Having understood what is brake checking, it is safe to say that no accidents or collision is too small. While it can lead to extensive car damage, it can also result in loss of life and various degrees of life-threatening injuries.
Nobody would want to slash his savings to fix the dented part of the car. Expenses can sometimes be outrageous, except if you are covered by insurance deductible assistance. However, by abiding by the above tips, you will not likely be a brake checking victim.