Is Brake Checking Illegal in Texas? Full Guide for Victims
All drivers should keep the roads safe. They should not engage in reckless behaviors, and that includes brake checking other people.
Brake checking can be very dangerous for the person behind the wheel and the other drivers on the road. However, is it illegal in Texas? Could it land people in jail?
Those are essential questions that drivers in Texas must know the answers to, and this article will give the necessary information on the matter.
Defining Brake Checking
Before discussing the legal ramifications of brake checking in the Lone Star State, defining the action itself is necessary.
Brake checking happens when drivers hit their cars' brakes while another driver is closely following behind them. When doing that, they are trying to catch the other person off-guard.
The lead driver could brake check in many ways. They may only lightly tap their brakes to make the rear driver react.
In other cases, brake checking involves slamming on their brakes and forcing the other person to stop unless they want to be involved in an accident.
Why Do Drivers Brake Check?
Given the dangers of brake checking, which is a reckless driving maneuver, it's fair to ask why people do it in the first place. Here are some of the most common reasons:
They Want to Discourage Tailgaters
Tailgating happens when the rear driver is following the vehicle in front of them but driving too closely.
Many drivers don't appreciate having tailgaters behind them. Knowing that the other vehicle is too close makes them feel uneasy.
In response to that, the lead driver might brake check to try and get the one behind them to give them some distance.
They're Trying to Involve Other Motorists in an Accident
Some drivers brake check because they want to involve others in a car accident. While it may sound weird, it makes sense after realizing they're trying to commit insurance fraud.
Brake checking might cause the driver to get some money from the other person's insurance company.
If the victim has no way to prove they didn't cause the rear-end collision, they might be in trouble. The best way to avoid being in that situation is to maintain a proper stopping distance. Schuerger Shunnarah can advise on the average motorcycle accident settlement In Texas as well.
They're Expressing Their Frustration
Sometimes, drivers brake check to express their frustration with other people on the road. It doesn't necessarily have to be a consequence of tailgating - if someone cuts another person off, they'll probably feel annoyed.
Consequently, they might try to get ahead of them again and brake check. It's retaliation, and it's a response to frustration.
They're Just Engaging in Reckless Driving
On some occasions, a driver will brake check just because they're driving carelessly. They disregard traffic laws, and they don't care about the possible consequences of their behavior.
In many cases, brake checking leads to disastrous auto accident cases. However, some drivers don't care about that, especially if they're engaging in other illegal behaviors, such as drinking alcohol or taking different substances.
What Drivers Want to Know: Is Brake Checking Illegal in Texas?
Brake checking is never a good idea. There's a high risk of causing a car accident, and people shouldn't put themselves and other drivers in danger.
The safety risk should be enough to convince people not to engage in any reckless driving behavior, such as brake checking.
Nonetheless, drivers should be aware that they might be running afoul of the law if they brake check.
In the state of Texas, there's no specific law that prohibits brake checking. Nonetheless, laws are in place to prevent people from engaging in reckless driving, which is defined as operating a vehicle with a "willful or wanton disregard" for other people's or properties' safety.
If a brake-checking wreck happens, law enforcement officers will arrive at the scene and collect evidence to determine what happened. Victims could get compensation for damages if they can prove the other person was at fault.
What Are the Penalties If Someone Brake-checks in Texas?
Some drivers don't care about the law that makes brake checking illegal. They still want to cause a rear-end collision or simply don't care about engaging in reckless behavior.
Nonetheless, all drivers need to remember that there are penalties for brake checking and other reckless driving behaviors. Firstly, the at-fault party may have to pay a fine, which could cost up to $200.
In some cases, drivers might also go to county jail, and they can be there for up to 30 days. Lastly, if the person caused a brake-checking car accident and the victims suffered severe damages, they could sue.
What Victims Must Do If They're Involved in a Brake Checking Accident
Being involved in a car accident can be a traumatic experience, especially if victims suffered injuries or losses. Here are the steps they should follow if they believe the other driver brake-checked them:
Check for Injuries
A rear-end collision can cause severe injuries. People who only walk away with some scratches should consider themselves lucky.
On many occasions, victims of a brake check accident sustain head injuries or break their bones. Therefore, before doing anything else, they should check to see if they're hurt. If there are passengers, they must check them too.
Call an Ambulance
If someone got hurt on the brake check wreck, victims should immediately call 911. They have to request medical assistance and avoid moving the injured person, as it could aggravate their pain.
Call the Police and Gather Evidence
In Texas, the law requires drivers to report any collisions. Therefore, when someone is in a brake-checking accident, they'll have to call law enforcement agents.
Victims of reckless driving should never count on the other driver calling the police for them. Instead, they should take matters into their own hands and do it themselves.
Moreover, if victims are feeling well enough to walk around, they should try to collect some evidence. The other driver might try to blame them for the accident and deny they brake checked.
Victims can take pictures of what happened, and if there were any witnesses, they must try to talk to them since they could provide valuable testimony.
Talk to the Other Driver
Speaking to the driver who brake checked is necessary, especially if victims are thinking about getting compensation.
However, victims should be careful. The other driver might try to blame them and even claim that they were mostly to blame for what happened.
Generally, victims should try to keep the conversation short. They'll only need the other person's driver and insurance information, and once they get that, they can tell them they already reported the accident to law enforcement and they'll be arriving shortly.
Share Information with Law Enforcement Agents
Once police officers are at the accident scene, victims can share the information they have with them.
Moreover, it could be convenient to get the police officers' contact information, especially if victims are thinking about getting compensation.
Go to a Doctor
Paying a visit to the doctor is crucial after someone is involved in a brake-checking accident. Sometimes, people have unseen injuries, and they might worsen unless they get medical help.
Hire a Car Accident Lawyer
If the brake check accident was serious, in the aftermath, victims might have to deal with the financial responsibility of lost wages and medical bills for the injuries they sustained.
Victims of a brake-checking crash shouldn't have to pay for a driver's reckless actions. Therefore, they could file a claim, but they'll need help from a car accident lawyer in Houston.
How Car Accident Lawyers Can Help
According to Texas law, victims could have a right to compensation if they were keeping a safe distance when driving behind the other person and they decidedly engaged in brake checking, regardless of the reason.
As the article mentioned, the law in Lone Star State protects people from suffering the consequences of reckless driving behavior. However, proving the other driver was the one responsible might be challenging, especially because they'll try to trick people to share fault.
Victims should hire a specialized car accident lawyer since they're the only professionals who can aggressively defend them when they need it.
Attorneys will assess the case, and if the client is suffering the consequences of someone else's negligence or wanton disregard for safety, lawyers will make sure justice is served.
Contacting a Specialized Attorney Today
Being in a brake-checking crash can be confusing and sometimes traumatic, depending on the severity of the injuries the person sustained. Schuerger Shunnarah can also help with questions like "Is texting and driving illegal in Texas?"
Hiring a specialized lawyer is the best option since they'll help victims put together a case and file a claim. They'll negotiate with the other party's insurance company and make sure they pay for their reckless behavior.
Brake checking, like many other reckless driving behaviors, is not allowed, and it shows a clear disregard for others' safety.
Therefore, victims of brake-checking collisions should contact specialized lawyers to help them. At Schuerger Shunnarah, attorneys are ready to defend their clients and go to war for them, so they'll aggressively use all the necessary arguments to make sure they get the best results.