Is Brake Checking Illegal?
The act of brake checking or stopping suddenly when there is a car behind you is illegal in almost every State in the U.S in some form, including Michigan. It is an extremely dangerous practice that can put the driver, the other vehicle, and all the vehicles on the road. It is considered reckless driving, which is illegal.
Not only can it be dangerous by causing car accidents and putting lives in danger, it can also lead to severe criminal legal repercussions. You should be aware that brake checking another driver is against the law in Michigan and there will be serious consequences if you are caught doing it.
Every driver on the road has been tailgated before and knows the feeling of being irritated when someone is driving so recklessly and aggressively directly behind them. It is tempting to “brake check” the offending vehicle out of spite and to teach them a lesson, but it is never a good idea. If you find yourself in a brake checking accident, you need an experienced Michigan car accident lawyer on your side and fighting for your behalf.
What Is Considered “Brake Checking”
Brake checking is the intentional act of forcing a driver who is behind you to either stop suddenly or forcing them to swerve to avoid an accident. It is an extremely dangerous maneuver and you should never engage it. It is considered reckless driving. Instead, you should simply get out of the way so the tailgating driver can get ahead of you. The actual definition according to Wikipedia is “A brake check, also known as a brake test, occurs when a driver deliberately either taps on the brakes several times or slams hard on the pedal when moving in front of another vehicle, with the intention of causing the behind driver to either collide or take evasive action.”
Who Is At Fault For Brake Checking Accidents?
In most rear end accident collisions, the driver in the rear is at fault. The reason for this is that by law they are required to be maintaining a safe distance behind. This makes sense as anything can happen when you are driving and you need to have ample time to stop in case something goes wrong in order to avoid rear end collisions.
However, when you brake check someone and cause an accident, you are the vehicle at fault. It can sometimes be hard to prove, but there are usually witnesses and it will simply be your word vs. the word of the other vehicle in the accident. Another consideration is that many drivers are installing dash cams and this will provide a key piece of evidence who is truly at fault.
Brake Checking in Michigan
Brake checking in Michigan is illegal. It is an aggressive and negligent form of driving and it is punishable by law. Even though tailgating is irresponsible, annoying, and dangerous, you should always just pull over and let the other driver around as opposed to engaging in an illegal act making you responsible for the consequences.
Michigan is a no-fault state, so you will always be able to recover first party benefits, you can only sue the other driver for additional damages such as pain and suffering if the other driver is deemed to be at fault and you sustained a serious injury. By “brake checking” and becoming the aggressor you are limiting the amount of compensation you can recover if the maneuver causes an accident with injuries.
Determining fault is always going to be complex in a brake checking type of situation, but why take the risk of being the vehicle at fault for an accident caused by brake checking just because you’re having a momentary lapse of judgement or road rage.
Aggressive Driving and Brake Checking To Commit Insurance Fraud
While this is more rare, there are many instances where the front driver will brake check the rear driver in order to commit insurance fraud. Why would anyone do this? The simple answer is to receive monetary gain from an insurance payout.
Fraud is not something to take lightly as it has serious consequences both criminally and endangering lives. This type of insurance fraud involved a driver deliberately stopping suddenly to cause a crash and receive cash from the insurance company in return.
How To Deal With Tailgaters and Avoid a Car Crash
Tailgating is extremely common when driving in Michigan. It may be a major nuisance, but you should know what to do to handle the situation safely and avoid an accident. The best approach is allow the tailgater to pass if they are following too closely.
Getting into a road rage incident or brake check crash should be avoided at all costs. Nobody wins when that happens. It’s better to swallow your ego and rage. Just pull over to the side of the road and allow them to pass if you can safely do so. You can also notify the police if you feel that is necessary.
How To Prove The Other Driver Brake Checked You and Caused a Rear End Collision
Proving a brake check in Michigan is very difficult. It is usually your word vs. the other driver. Installing a dash cam is the single most effective way of proving the other driver was acting negligently and engaged in brake checking. This simple video will show the truth and it can be used when creating the police report and will be strong evidence in court.
The other ways to prove brake checking is through eyewitnesses including other drivers on the road, passengers, or any pedestrians nearby. This is not full proof as many times there will no witnesses that saw the accident take place.
A police report is another strong piece of evidence and the officer will make their best judgement, but with a lack of information, video, or witnesses, it will be difficult to prove.
What To Do If Brake Checking Causes an Accident?
Brake checking is considered dangerous, irresponsible, and illegal. If you’ve been involved in a car accident due to another driver brake checking it can open you up to all sorts of injuries including:
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Herniated Discs
- Brain Bleeding
- Soft Tissue Injuries
- Broken Bones
- Back Pain
The first thing you should do is to take care of your health and safety. Call 911 if you are badly hurt. After assessing your health you should always exchange insurance information and contact the police to have them come out and file a police report. Now is the time to take pictures, videos, talk to witnesses, and document any information that you possibly can. Stay at the scene of the accident until the police leave and then you should contact your insurance company to report the accident and start a car insurance claim. You should also contact your lawyer to seek legal advice pertaining to a personal injury lawsuit.
Who Pays For Damages In a Brake Check Accident?
Damages are paid in a brake checking accident just like any other accident in Michigan. Your own insurance company will cover your medical expenses, lost wages, replacement services, medical mileage, and attendant care. They will pay this regardless of who is at fault for the accident because Michigan has no-fault insurance (although there is now a cap in place).
If you want to sue the other driver for your third party damages which include your pain and suffering and additional non-economic damages, you will need to prove that the other driver was at fault and they you sustained severe injuries that are considered a serious impairment of a bodily function. Proving negligence and impairment can be difficult. This is why it’s important to have a dash cam installed and to seek medical treatment from a professional. This will create documentation that you can then use to prove your case and increase the amount of your settlement.
Legal Representation in a Brake Checking Collision Case
In an accident where the other driver aggressively and recklessly brake checked your vehicle, an experienced car accident attorney can help you prove that the other driver was negligent. It can be very difficult to prove that the other driver was 100% at fault, though it is not impossible. Having an attorney experienced with this type of accident is crucial to receiving the compensation you deserve and holding the other driver accountable for their actions.
No, it is not ok to brake check people. It is considered reckless driving and illegal in almost all states including Michigan. If you get into an accident because someone brake checked you, don't ever admit fault. Call the police immediately. Simply be polite and exchange insurance information. A brake check is the dangerous action of hitting the brakes to dissuade the driver behind you from following too closely or tailgating. The best way to prove that your were brake checked is by installing a dash cam in your vehicle. It is very difficult to prove a brake check, but video evidence, passengers, and eyewitnesses can help prove the other driver was negligent.
Is it OK to brake check people?
How do you deal with brake checkers?
What does it mean to brake check a guy
How do I prove that I was brake checked?
No, it is not ok to brake check people. It is considered reckless driving and illegal in almost all states including Michigan.
If you get into an accident because someone brake checked you, don't ever admit fault. Call the police immediately. Simply be polite and exchange insurance information.
A brake check is the dangerous action of hitting the brakes to dissuade the driver behind you from following too closely or tailgating.
The best way to prove that your were brake checked is by installing a dash cam in your vehicle. It is very difficult to prove a brake check, but video evidence, passengers, and eyewitnesses can help prove the other driver was negligent.
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