Three Smart Alternatives To Brake Checking

Posted on: 2 October 2018

When you see a motorist driving just feet from your rear bumper, it can often be infuriating. You won't appreciate that the driver is seeming to not care about traffic safety, and you may worry about him or her crashing into you. A lot of motorists in your position respond to this situation with something called brake checking — slamming on the brakes to scare the driver who is following too closely. Doing so might be tempting, but it's not a very good idea. It could cause an accident and, even if the driver behind you is found to be at fault, you could be ticketed for reckless driving. Here are three smart alternatives to brake checking.

Gradually Reduce Your Speed

If you decelerate quickly, you're not driving in a safe manner — and this could heighten your likelihood of receiving a ticket that you need to defend in court. Instead of brake checking, you might want to try gradually reducing your speed. Doing so isn't dangerous, provided that you don't go too slowly, and it sends a clear message that you want the driver to move around you. Slow deceleration is unlikely to raise the ire of the other motorist in the same way as brake checking, which is good for avoiding the escalation of the situation.

Use Your Hazards

Waving your hands at the motorist might be tempting, but doing so may fail to convey your message to the other driver. Another option is to apply your hazard lights briefly. Doing so doesn't increase the risk of an accident in the same manner as slamming on your brakes, but it can alert the other driver to the close proximity of your vehicles. It may also suggest to him or her that there's something wrong with your vehicle and that you'll be pulling over when you can, which can further give the driver a reason to follow you less aggressively.

Change Lanes

If there's an opportunity to change lanes in a safe manner, try doing so. Often, people who travel too closely behind other motorists are eager to get past, and simply moving out of the way when doing so is safe and can give the aggressive motorist the opening he or she needs to overtake you. If there isn't a lane into which you can merge, consider taking a turn off the main road when you can. Once the vehicle roars past you, you can turn back onto the road and continue on your way. In the event you accidentally brake check and get a reckless driving ticket, contact a local traffic law attorney for help.