blog home Car Accidents Is Brake Checking Illegal In Georgia?

Is Brake Checking Illegal In Georgia?

By Butler Prather LLP on July 13, 2020

Brake checking, also commonly referred to as brake testing, occurs when a driver deliberately brakes hard in front of another driver behind them. This action can cause the second driver to swerve or otherwise react quickly to avoid an accident. Brake checking is a form of aggressive driving that can lead to serious crashes and severe injuries on the roadway. It is important to understand whether or not this type of behavior is legal or illegal in Georgia.

brake check

Brake checking – legal or illegal?

First, we want to note that it is never smart to tailgate another vehicle. By not leaving enough distance between you and the vehicle in front of you, you are not giving yourself very much time to react in the event unforeseen circumstances arise on the roadway. Aside from that, most people do not take kindly to others driving too closely behind them. While many drivers will simply move out of the way and allow an approaching vehicle to pass, some drivers might get angry and brake check a tailgating driver.

Brake checking is in an illegal action. Regardless of whether or not a person feels justified in slamming on their brakes to deter a tailgating driver, this type of aggressive driving is illegal. Some drivers brake check to surprise or retaliate against the driver behind them. Other drivers brake check to intentionally cause a collision. Regardless of why a driver brake checks the person behind them, is illegal and dangerous.

Under Georgia law, aggressive driving is considered a serious traffic offense and defined as a “motor vehicle with the intent to annoy, harass, molest, intimidate, injure, or obstruct another person.” Brake checking certainly fits into that definition.

The consequences of brake checking in Georgia

When a driver slams on their brakes to brake check a vehicle behind them, for whatever reason, they could cause serious accidents.

  • A brake checked driver could swerve and strike other vehicles around them, leading to a multi-car collision.
  • A brake check driver could slam into the rear of the vehicle that “brake checked” them, causing a severe crash.
  • A brake checked driver could swerve off the road, leading to a severe single-car accident.

While the driver who brake checks another may only intend to send a warning to the driver behind them, the unintended consequences of a brake check far outweigh any benefits this behavior may bring.

What if you are the victim of brake checking in Georgia?

Contrary to popular belief, rear-end collisions are not always the fault of the rear driver. Brake checking is a good example of how this is true. However, in a brake check scenario, the rear driver may have a hard time proving their case in the event a collision occurs. In order to prove brake checking, the rear driver may need to seek assistance from an attorney. An attorney can work to:

  • Speak to any eyewitnesses who saw what happened
  • Obtain any video or photo surveillance of the crash
  • Obtain and analyze any police or accident report available

Brake checking is illegal and should not occur on Georgia roadways. If or somebody you love has been the victim of this type of activity, speak to an Atlanta car accident attorney for a free consultation of your case.

Posted in: Car Accidents

I was in a complex premises liability case involving a multinational corporations. Mr. Butler & his associates were always three steps ahead of these defendants. When they say they are "exceptional trial lawyers," this is not just a slogan but it is a way of life.”
- Zack Hendon