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How “Brake Checking” Can Lead to a Crash

Posted onMarch 4, 2021

How “Brake Checking” Can Lead to a Crash

Brake checking is a dangerous practice that can lead to chain-reaction collisions and injuries to multiple victims. These cases are complicated, so always seek help from a Tulsa car accident attorney as soon as possible after your crash.

Tailgating or following another vehicle is a dangerous and unlawful act on the road. When someone is following you too closely, it can make you nervous, and you likely want to get them to stop right away. Some people might be tempted to tap or hit their brakes for no reason to scare the tailgating driver, or signal to them to back off. This is referred to as “brake checking”, which is considered to be aggressive driving, and it can result in serious crashes and liability.

If someone brake checks and causes a crash, that driver could be liable for all of the damage and injuries that result. Contact a Tulsa car accident attorney to discuss your rights.


Brake Checking Can Cause Chain-Reaction Crashes

When a driver suddenly slams on their brakes, it can cause the driver behind them to collide. Such a rear-end collision is often not the end of the story, however, as this can cause a chain-reaction crash. This is especially true since brake checking often takes place on highways where traffic is traveling at high speeds, and drivers cannot stop in time to avoid a collision.

Multiple-vehicle collisions on the highway can involve smaller sedans, SUVs or pickup trucks, or even large commercial tractor-trailers. This combination of sizes and weights can make the destruction and injuries even more devastating.


Common Injuries from Brake Checking Accidents

Accidents caused by brake checking can cause extremely serious accidents that result in equally serious injuries. In many cases, these crashes occur with little to no warning, which means that victims are often unable to brace themselves for the impending impact. Some common injuries that people sustain in accidents caused by brake checking include:

  1. Whiplash
  2. Traumatic brain injuries
  3. Severe soft tissue injuries
  4. Concussions
  5. Spinal cord injuries
  6. Facial injuries
  7. Crush injuries
  8. Injuries related to airbag deployment

In some cases, people are lucky enough to walk away from accidents involving brake checking or tailgating with nothing more serious than bumps or bruises. Unfortunately, in others, the people involved can suffer serious injuries that can lead to substantial medical bills, lost income, disfigurement, long-term disabilities, and significant pain and suffering.


Liability Can be Highly Complicated

Determining liability for a brake-checking accident, especially a chain-reaction crash, can be particularly complex. However, it is important to determine any and all parties with liability for your injuries to ensure you seek compensation from the proper parties. Some parties might include:

  1. The brake-checking driver
  2. The driver who was following too closely
  3. Other drivers who crashed because they were speeding or distracted
  4. Employers of drivers who were on the job when they caused an accident

In Oklahoma, multiple parties can share liability for a crash under the principles of comparative negligence. If a case were to proceed to a jury trial, each party involved will be assigned a percentage of fault for the crash, and anyone less than 50 percent at fault can recover for at least some of their losses. For example:

  1. 60 percent fault is assigned to the brake-checking driver
  2. 40 percent fault is assigned to the driver who was following too closely
  3. Zero fault was assigned to the third driver who had no way to avoid the collision

In the above scenario, the brake-checking driver would not be able to recover for their losses since they were more than 50 percent to blame. However, the driver who was 40 percent at fault could still seek recovery for 60 percent of their losses. The driver who was not deemed negligent at all can seek recovery for their full losses.

As we said, liability can be extremely complicated, so you want to have an experienced car accident lawyer handling your claim. Too many people assume that because they might be partially to blame, they cannot recover anything. This is often false, however, so always consult with an attorney about your rights.


Contact a Tulsa Car Accident Attorney for Help Today

At Wandres Law, PC, we know how much a serious car wreck can affect victims and their families. For this reason, we are committed to helping car accident victims obtain the full and fair value of their claims and never shy away from a fight with auto insurance companies. Call (918) 641-4044 or contact us online or to schedule a free case evaluation with a car accident lawyer in Tulsa.

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