Drivers that follow the car in front of them too closely is not only dangerous, but it is aggravating, too. Most of us have experienced a driver tailgating us at some point. What do you do in this situation? Do you move over and let them pass? Or do you slow down and step on your brakes hoping that it will get them off your back and they will go around you? Unfortunately, when you hit your brakes when another car is following too closely, this can aggravate the already reckless driver that’s behind you and could be a recipe for disaster, potentially leading to an accident.
Many people who are being followed too closely by another vehicle find it frustrating when this happens and you are not alone. But when you choose to hit your brakes when another vehicle is following you too closely, this isn’t a good nor safe response. This type of response is also dangerous, which can lead to an accident.
So, who is at fault for an accident when this happens? Is the driver who was tailgating you responsible? Or you, the driver who was brake checking the tailgater?
What is Brake Checking?
Brake checking happens when a driver intentionally steps on their brakes to slow down in an effort to deter the tailgating driver that is behind them. They do this with hopes that the tailgating driver will either give them some space and slow down or go around.
On the other hand, if you step on the brakes to slow down to go the speed limit, this is not considered brake checking. But when you intentionally hit your brakes to annoy the tailgating driver, then this is considered brake checking.
Who is At Fault in a Brake Check Accident?
Technically, brake checking is illegal and shouldn’t be done, as it is considered reckless driving. Although tailgating is also considered reckless driving, you shouldn’t respond with aggressive driving when another driver is tailgating you.
You could possibly be held liable if your brake checking caused the accident. The driver that was tailgating you may also be held liable as well.
When the driver is tailgating behind you, the best and safest thing to do is safely move over and let them pass if it’s possible. While we understand that letting them get away with tailgating is frustrating, it is not your job to put them in their place and safely moving over (if possible) is the best and safest way to ensure that no accident involving brake checking or tailgating occurs.
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Were you involved in a car accident caused by another driver? If so, you may be entitled to compensation. Call Fiore Legal for a free consultation with a trusted car accident lawyer in Los Angeles!