Legally Reviewed by:

Jonathan Rosenfeld

January 27, 2023

Over $400 Million worth of case results

Awarded The Best Lawyer in 2024 by U.S. News

Nationally Recognized in Legal Community

Brake checking, or suddenly braking when there is a car behind you, is illegal in most jurisdictions in North America. The act can cause considerable damage and put drivers at risk for severe injury or death.

It can also lead to severe legal penalties in certain areas, such as fines, jail time, and license suspension. People must be aware that brake-checking another driver is against the law and can have severe consequences if caught doing it.

Is Brake Checking Illegal?

Brake checking is illegal in many states as it can contribute to accidents.

Tailgating and Brake Checking

Tailgating is a dangerous and illegal driving practice that can lead to serious rear-end accidents. It occurs when a rear driver follows another vehicle too closely without leaving an adequate distance between them, which is prohibited under state law.

Tailgating can be caused by impatience, recklessness, or road rage and can result in a rear-end accident if the lead driver brake checked their vehicle, stopped suddenly, or changed lanes without warning.

It is another form of aggressive driving that can lead to preventable collisions. This illegal technique involves intentionally applying the brakes to get the driver behind them to back off.

Brake Checks Accident Who Is at Fault?

Brake checking is a dangerous and irresponsible driving behavior that can lead to serious car accidents.
When someone brake checks you, they abruptly slow down or stop their vehicle without warning, causing the tailgating driver behind them to crash into them.

Rear-end collisions are often the fault of the rear driver. Sometimes, a motor vehicle driver guilty of braking suddenly can be partially at fault or fully liable if their action was the main contributor to the collision.

Is Brake Checking a Tailgater Illegal?

Brake checking is an illegal act that can create a dangerous situation for others. It is considered an aggressive or negligent driving practice and can have serious consequences.

It can be challenging to prove brake checking to determine fault when a car crash occurs. In such cases, it may be beneficial to contact an experienced car accident attorney who can help prove that the other driver was at fault for the crash.

Brake Checking in Illinois

Brake checking is an illegal form of aggressive or negligent driving in Illinois. It can create a dangerous situation for other drivers and is punishable by law.

Tailgating is also an unpleasant and unlawful practice, but pulling over and letting the other car pass rather than brake check them is preferable. In Illinois, you can still seek reimbursement from the other motorist if you are less than 51 percent at fault for an accident.

However, following too closely is illegal. Determining fault in an accident involving brake checking and tailgating is complicated.

Aggressive Brake Checking Car Accidents

Brake checking is an aggressive driving behavior that can be dangerous and even deadly. It involves slamming on the brakes suddenly while driving in front of another vehicle, usually done in the hopes of causing the other car to slam on the brakes or swerve out of the way, preventing an accident.

If someone is injured due if the other driver’s brake checked, the victim may be eligible for compensation in a personal injury lawsuit.

To receive compensation, however, they must prove that the other driver was at least 50% responsible for the accident due to their aggressive driving. Determining fault requires a competent car accident lawyer specializing in rear-ended accident claims.

Reckless Driving: Why People Brake Check

Brake checking is an aggressive driving tactic that can have serious consequences. It involves a driver suddenly braking hard to intimidate or retaliate against a tailgating driver. This dangerous maneuver can result in severe injuries and financial damage, so it should be avoided at all costs.

Brake checking is often a result of road rage, as it can be seen as a way to get back at the other driver. In some cases, brake checking may even be an attempt to commit insurance fraud.

Is Brake Checking Illegal in Road Rage Car Accidents?

Road rage is a severe road issue today, leading to dangerous situations such as brake checking.
Dashcam videos have captured this dangerous practice happening frequently, and it can cause a rear-end collision with the motorist in front of them usually held responsible.

Drivers must remain aware of their surroundings and take responsibility for their actions while driving. If someone feels threatened by another driver’s behavior, they should not respond aggressively, such as brake check behavior.

Instead, they should try safely moving away from the situation and contact law enforcement if necessary.

Insurance Fraud

Front vehicle drivers may apply the brakes to commit insurance fraud, which is done to gain money from an insurance payout or cash. Fraud can be committed by individuals, groups, or even organized crime rings.

Insurance laws in every state identify fraud as a severe crime that can have devastating consequences for both the victims and perpetrators. A brake check involves deliberately causing a crash to receive an insurance payout or cash.

Brake Checking a Tailgater

Tailgating is dangerous and annoying, leading to serious rear-end accidents. It is important to remember that brake checking a tailgater is never recommended.

The at-fault driver could lead to liability for damages and severe injuries in a modified comparative negligence state. You could be held responsible for any damages resulting from your actions.

Additionally, brake checking at highway speeds can cause severe injury or death.

How To Deal with Tailgaters

Tailgaters can be a major nuisance on the road, and knowing how to handle them safely and effectively is vital. The first step is to allow tailgaters the option to pass if they are following too closely.

It will help reduce the risk of a rear-end accident and prevent potential conflict between drivers. Additionally, it is important to notify law enforcement if a tailgater is following too closely or engaging in dangerous driving behavior and file a report when the police arrive.

How to Prove Brake Checking

Proving that the other driver engaged in brake checking can be difficult without visual evidence or a witness. In such cases, it can become a “he said, she said” issue. The best way to prove that the other driver was at fault is to collect evidence and fight for compensation if involved in a crash due to brake checking or tailgating.

Video footage of the other driver’s behavior can be used as evidence of brake checks. Dash cams, passengers, eyewitnesses, and other sources can all provide valuable evidence that the other motorist was at fault for the accident.

In addition to video footage, numerous methods are available to establish that the other motorist was at fault for the accident. For instance, if the police were called to the scene of an accident caused by brake checking or tailgating, the police reports could be used as evidence in court.

What to Do if the Driver Behind You is Tailgating

Tailgating is a common issue for drivers and can be extremely dangerous. It occurs when the driver behind you follows too closely, leaving little room to react in case of an emergency. Brake checking is not an effective way to deal with tailgaters and can lead to an accident.

To prevent tailgating, focus on the road and maintain a safe distance from other vehicles. If the driver behind you is persistent, change lanes and slow down so that they have more space between your vehicle and theirs.

What to Do If Brake Checking or Road Rage Caused an Accident

Brake checking is a dangerous and irresponsible driving behavior that can lead to serious accidents. It occurs when a driver slams on their brakes without warning, causing the car behind them to crash into them.

This reckless driving puts other drivers at risk and makes the motorist in front at least partially responsible for any resulting brake check accidents. Brake testing can cause:

  • Whiplash
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Back and spinal cord injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Intercostal muscle strain

Rear-end collisions are expected outcomes of brake checking and can be perilous for both parties involved.

Ensure everyone involved in the car accident is safe and call 911 if necessary. Then exchange insurance information with the other driver and document the accident scene with photos or videos if possible.

Finally, contact your insurance company to report the incident and seek legal advice from a competent law firm to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Who Pays for the Damages in a Brake Check Accident?

In a brake check car accident, the party responsible for the damages is the driver who initiated the brake check. Brake checking is an intentional act of road rage and can lead to severe injuries for those driving behind the car that brake checked.

Insurance companies may try to deny liability for these types of accidents due to an exclusion in the contract for “intentional conduct,” making it essential to be aware of Illinois’ rules regarding any road rage incident and call a vehicle accident attorney after being involved in a brake-checking accident.

Those injured in a car accident may be able to seek compensation from the party responsible through a car insurance claim. However, proving fault and negligence of the other driver or another party can be challenging in brake checker cases.

An experienced car accident lawyer can help maximize compensation to receive the money you are entitled to through a personal injury claim.

Fault and Liability for Brake Checking Accidents

Brake checking is a dangerous driving maneuver that can lead to severe injuries for those driving behind the car that brake checked. When a driver brakes unexpectedly, the vehicle behind them may not have enough time to stop, resulting in a rear-end collision.

To seek compensation for any damages incurred due to a car accident caused by brake checking, it is essential to prove the fault and negligence of the other driver or another party involved. There may be no witness statements or physical evidence in brake-checking accidents.


Brake checking can be dangerous and cause serious accidents. It is essential to stay vigilant, maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you, and drive defensively.

Were you or someone you know involved in an accident caused by brake checking? Seek legal advice from an experienced car accident attorney to review your case and determine fault and liability for the damages. A car accident lawyer to help you maximize compensation can be invaluable in these cases.


Free Consultation (888) 424-5757
Scroll to Top