Is It Illegal To Brake Check A Tailgater? | Davis Firm, LLC

14 Oct 2019

By Davis Firm, LLC

In Car Accidents

All drivers have felt irritated with another driver at some point, especially if they’re being tailgated. Drivers who get too close to the car in front of them are at a particularly high risk of causing a rear-end accident, which can cause injuries even at low speeds.

When you’re being tailgated, it’s a natural impulse to want to get the other driver off your back. Unfortunately, some motorists attempt to do this by brake checking — a dangerous behavior that’s illegal and considered aggressive driving in many states.

If you were harmed in a car accident after someone brake checked you in Chattanooga, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, missed wages and other losses. Contact a knowledgeable car accident lawyer to learn about your legal rights.

What is Brake Checking?

A brake check occurs when a driver deliberately applies their brakes to get another driver, who they often believe is tailgating them, to back off. The obvious danger of a brake check is that the other driver might not be prepared to stop. The result: a rear-end accident, and the potential to sustain and/or cause serious injuries.

Many people assume that the driver of the trailing vehicle in a rear-end accident is always at fault, but this is not always the case. Brake checking can, in fact, make a person liable for causing an accident.

How Can You Prove The Other Driver Brake Checked You?

One of the strongest forms of evidence of brake checking can come from video evidence of the other driver’s actions. Whether it comes from a dash cam, a passenger, an eyewitness or another source, there are several ways to prove that the other driver was at fault (or at least partially at fault) for the accident that injured you.

Why You Should Never Brake Check Another Driver

While tailgating is illegal and obnoxious behavior, it is always best to try to find a way to pull over and allow the other driver to pass rather than brake check them. Again, a brake check immediately increases your risk of being involved in a rear-end accident.

Worse yet, you could be found at fault for the accident. Tennessee is a comparative fault state, which means that you may still be able to collect compensation for injuries even if you share some portion of the fault in an accident. However, it’s important to talk to an attorney first, because your percentage of fault is key. As long as you are less than 51 percent responsible for an accident in Tennessee, you can still obtain compensation from the other driver.

The Right Steps To Take Around Tailgaters

Your safest manner of dealing with tailgaters is affording them an opportunity to pass. When a tailgater is following particularly aggressively, you may want to contact law enforcement.

While you are being followed by a tailgater, you should continue to operate lawfully and make only consistent and deliberate movements. Pull off the road if you must, but do not brake check or engage in aggressive behaviors that might provoke the other driver.

How Can Davis Firm, LLC Help Me?

If you suffered severe injuries or your loved one was killed in a Chattanooga car accident caused by a brake check or tailgating, it’s important to find an experienced lawyer right away so that the negligent driver is held accountable for his or her actions. The skilled trial lawyers at Davis Law Firm, LLC can help.

Call (423) 401-9980 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation.