What to do if someone brake-checks you on the road

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It’s a sad truth that car accidents happen all too often, and Texas is no different. The impact of these accidents can be devastating, affecting not only our physical well-being but also our emotional and financial stability. That’s why it’s crucial for us to examine the reasons behind these accidents and explore ways to minimize them, beginning with the practice of brake checking.

What does it mean when someone “brake checks” you?

Car accidents can occur due to a behavior called brake checking, which involves a driver suddenly slamming on their brakes when there is a vehicle closely following them. This action is not in response to any traffic situation that requires it, but rather as a means of intimidation or retaliation due to road rage. Unfortunately, this unexpected move catches innocent drivers off guard, leaving them with little time to react and resulting in collisions. Such reckless maneuvering poses unnecessary risks, leading to severe accidents and, in some cases, even fatalities.

Brake checking has the potential to cause various types of car accidents because of the unexpected and sudden stop, catching other drivers off guard.

A rear-end collision is the most frequent outcome in such situations. When drivers don’t have sufficient time or space to stop safely, they might end up crashing into the person who brake-checked them. These incidents commonly take place on highways, which makes them extremely dangerous and potentially fatal.

In situations where traffic is particularly congested or when faced with more severe circumstances, the chain of events that occur when multiple cars abruptly stop and other drivers react can lead to a domino effect of collisions, ultimately causing a pile-up on the highway.

When the driver in the car behind tries to prevent a rear-end collision by swiftly changing lanes, there is a possibility of creating a head-on collision with vehicles coming from the opposite direction. This abrupt maneuver can escalate the situation from a minor accident to a severe incident, particularly if it occurs on fast-paced highways.

It is crucial to avoid brake checking as it poses unnecessary risks and hazards on our roads, which can have serious consequences

Is brake checking someone against the law?

Yes, in Texas it is against the law to engage in brake checking, because this means someone is operating their motor vehicle in a way that exhibits “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” This means the intentional act of endangering another driver’s safety or property, which is also known as road rage. Brake checking is considered a deliberate action that puts others on the road at risk. If you have been injured due to someone’s reckless braking behavior, even if you were following too closely, you have the right to file a personal injury claim and seek compensation for your damages.

What kind of damages might I qualify for if someone brake checks me?

  • Financial. These may include medical bills, expenses related to physical therapy sessions, loss of income, damage to property, and even the potential loss of future earnings.
  • Non-financial. These may include physical and emotional pain and suffering, the distress it causes, and the impact it has on one’s ability to enjoy life.
  • Punitive. If the defendant’s actions were extremely terrible and carried out with malicious intent, punitive damages may be granted. These damages serve the purpose of punishing the defendant and discouraging similar actions from happening again. The specific nature and extent of the damages you can seek will vary based on the details of your claim.


Named one of the “Best Car Accident Lawyers in Dallas” by Expertise.com, Brian Brunson is Dallas personal injury attorney who is dedicated to helping clients who have suffered a car, truck, or motorcycle injury through the negligent or wrongful conduct of other drivers. In addition, his professionalism is unmatched and the firms’ client reviews speak for themselves.

We proudly serve the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and surrounding areas, our office supports the legal needs of a wide variety of clients. Let the Law Office of Brian Brunson be your advocate in your time of need and help you put your life back together. If we can’t win or settle your case, you don’t pay a dime! We know it can be daunting to take that first step after you’ve been hurt. Contact Brian Brunson today via email or call us toll-free at 1-844-41-WRECK. We can help, when no one else will.