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Is Brake Checking Illegal?

Is Brake Checking Illegal - Sand Law LLC


  • Brake checking occurs when drivers slam on their brakes because they feel the driver behind them is following too closely.
  • The state of Minnesota considers brake checking a form of careless driving, which is illegal.
  • Brake checking can result in severe accidents that lead to debilitating injuries.
  • An attorney can investigate a car accident and gather evidence to prove brake checking occurred.

Brake checking is an annoying, potentially dangerous behavior. Unfortunately, it’s something that happens far too often in Minnesota. Brake checking can result in not only significant property damage but also severe, potentially life-altering injuries. But is it illegal in Minnesota? This article will answer that question.

Sand Law attorneys know how to pursue compensation from negligent drivers who cause accidents. We’ll fight for your rights and do all we can to ensure you get every dollar you deserve. If you’ve suffered an injury in an accident caused by brake checking, contact us online or call 651-291-7263 for a free consultation.

What is Brake Checking?

Brake checking happens when a driver deliberately slams on their brakes to force the vehicle behind to slow down or come to a complete stop suddenly. This maneuver can catch the trailing driver off guard, potentially causing a collision due to the sudden decrease in speed.

There are a lot of reasons why people do this. These reasons include road rage, frustration, or an attempt to retaliate for something that happens on the road. But there’s no excuse for this behavior. The potential consequences aren’t worth it.

Minnesota Traffic Laws and Brake Checking

In Minnesota, brake checking falls under the category of careless driving laws, found in state statute 169.13. Minnesota law defines careless driving as “any person who operates or halts any vehicle upon any street or highway carelessly or heedlessly in disregard of the rights of others.” Brake checking is a prime example of halting a vehicle carelessly.

However, that doesn’t mean the driver behind the brake checker is automatically blameless if an accident occurs. State law also addresses following too closely. According to statute 169.18, drivers can’t follow another car “more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon and the conditions of the highway.”

The law doesn’t specifically address how far drivers should stay behind other cars. However, experts recommend the “three second rule.” Once the car ahead of you passes a stationary object, it should take you at least three seconds to pass the same object.

In other words, the law frowns on tailgating as it does brake checking. But if you had no choice but to be close to the vehicle ahead, and that driver brake-checked you anyway, you will likely have a good chance of winning a lawsuit.

Consequences of Brake Checking in Minnesota

Engaging in brake checking in Minnesota can lead to severe legal repercussions. State law classifies careless driving as a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of as much as $1,000 and up to 90 days in jail.

Also, the offending driver may be required to attend traffic school or defensive driving courses to address the aggressive driving behavior and reduce the risk of future incidents. The state has a good reason to penalize this type of driving since carelessness accounted for 10% of all motor vehicle accidents in Minnesota in 2020.

Brake Checking Can Cause Car Accidents

Brake checking significantly contributes to car accidents, often leading to rear-end collisions. When a driver abruptly applies their brakes, the following driver may not have sufficient time to react, resulting in a collision.

These accidents can range from minor fender benders to more severe crashes causing catastrophic injuries or fatalities. It is crucial for drivers to recognize the dangers associated with brake checking and to avoid engaging in such aggressive behaviors to maintain the safety of themselves and others on the road.

How to Prove Brake Checking Caused Your Car Accident

Proving that brake checking caused a car accident can be challenging. But it will be essential if you’re going to win your case and hold the brake checker accountable.

Gathering evidence is key to demonstrating that the driver in front intentionally applied their brakes, leading to the collision. Some ways to establish this include obtaining witness statements, collecting traffic camera footage, and consulting with experts who can analyze the accident’s circumstances.

Contact Sand Law to Speak with an Award-Winning Car Accident Attorney

However, the average citizen doesn’t have access to surveillance cameras or expert witnesses. But an experienced personal lawyer does. It would be best if you contacted one as soon as you can.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident due to brake checking, please speak with a seasoned car accident attorney to protect your rights and pursue compensation. Sand Law specializes in handling such cases and has a team of skilled attorneys with a proven track record of success.

You can schedule a free case evaluation by using our online form or by calling 651-291-7263. The faster you call, the faster we can collect the evidence needed to help you obtain every dollar you have coming.

Frequently Asked Questions About Brake Checking

Is brake checking considered aggressive driving in Minnesota?

Yes, state law classifies brake checking as careless driving. Brake checking is a misdemeanor in our state, punishable by a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

What should I do if I’m involved in an accident due to brake checking?

First and foremost, ensure the safety of everyone involved by moving to a safe location and seeking medical attention if necessary. Call the police to report the accident, collect witness statements, take photographs of the scene, and document any visible damage. Finally, please consult with a car accident attorney so they can investigate and gather evidence.

How much compensation can I receive for my brake-checking accident?

The compensation can vary based on several factors. These factors include the extent of medical expenses, lost wages, and the overall impact on your life. Attorneys at Sand Law can assess the specifics of your situation, gather evidence, and advocate for your rights, working to secure fair and just compensation for the losses you’ve incurred due to the accident.