Why Do People Brake Check? [What & Why Complete Guide]

We’ve encountered numerous events where we were forced to road rage in our daily life. However, the occasions were of many types like yelling at people for honking, raging for overtaking, shouting at pedestrians for being careless, purposely cutting off other cars, and many more.

Sometimes, our raging at others might not be justified as we cannot determine who is actually at fault, but what can’t be forgiven by any means is brake checking.

Brake checking could top the list of the worst road abuses easily. But why do people brake check? What possibly they can gain from doing so? Is brake checking even legal?

To know the answers to all these questions you’ve to stick with us till the very end. And that’s why we won’t be wasting any more of your time on the introductions.

What is brake check?

As we mentioned earlier that brake checking could be the worst road abuse of all other things and people who fall victim to brake checking must have the right to road rage and even sue the at-fault driver.

What brake check, also goes by the name brake check, basically is that you deliberately hit or tap the brakes while driving in front of another vehicle to purposely make them slam the brakes or drive them out of the way to cause an auto accident. In most cases, it’s the motorists that cause this kind of event.

Why do people brake check?

Is there any gain from brake checking? Or, is it just for fun? Why would someone possibly do something on the road that would harm others?

There is no proper reason for people to brake check deliberately. But still, there might be some technical difficulties with the vehicles or some other issues that might cause a driver to unintentionally brake check. So, let’s see what is the purpose of brake checking, shall we?

Road Rage

There are times when people get agitated when someone overtakes them on the road. To get their sweet revenge, they choose the way of malice. 

The motorists are the ones that usually do this sort of stuff. They simply overtake the driver that has enraged them and try the brake check method to get their revenge. As a result, either the vehicle behind the bike gets crashed with the bike or it swerves away from the way and gets crashed elsewhere.

But it’s not like the motorists are the ones who will show rage on the road and start brake checking. Even normal SUV drivers can also be frustrated for some reason and start showing their frustrations on the road.

Sometimes the drivers may have enough of life and resort to brake checking. We cannot say that it’s fair for them to do so. As per NHTSA, the casualties caused by speeding and aggressive style of driving is about 66%. Since 2913, there had been 300 possible deaths because of road rage.

According to The Zebra, 82% of drivers were admitted for committing the crime of road rage in 2019.

As specified by American Automobile Association, in the past 7 years, there had been about 12,610 injuries and a total of 218 murders caused by road rage in the United States.

That concludes, brake checking might seem a reasonable thing to do when you are frustrated on the road, but it’s not an ethical action to perform. Many lives have been lost due to road rage and brake checking.

Insurance Payout

This trick is being used by many underhand vehicle drivers, mostly motorists and truck drivers.

Vehicles have an insurance policy for damage and they can get it out once their vehicle has taken the necessary damage. But they can’t just smash their own vehicles on their own, this way they can’t get the payout of their insurance. The damage has to be done by an accident or a riot caused by others.

That’s why they purposely do brake checking to make one of the vehicles on the road collide with them. Even minimal damage would be enough to take out the insurance money.

Suffering from PTSD or C-PTSD

Although this cause is a very rare one and happens to people once in a while. For this medical condition, people often feel threatened by close vicinity drivers. They can have one of those flashback episodes in the middle of driving on the road.

During these episodes, their heart rate can raise immediately and they struggle to hold the accelerator or the brake. And it’s possible for them to tap the brakes continuously without thinking.

Brake checking on trucks

Trucks drivers sure have it rough. Most drivers on the road tend to brake check on trucks. And they do have a valid reason for doing so. Now let’s see why do people brake check trucks?

We are aware of the fact that trucks have a humongous amount of weight on them. So the drivers have to reach harder and quicker than any other driver on the road. It takes a lot of time for the trucks to completely pull off the brakes and then speed up again. So, other drivers keep them on brake check.

That makes the trucks an easy and predictable target for scamming them into insurance payouts.

Is brake checking illegal?

Most people wonder why there are so many cases of brake checking recently. The number is big enough to make them question the law of the government. Is brake checking illegal or not?

To answer your question, it’s highly illegal and an unethical thing to do on the roads. There are specific punishments stated in the constitution of the United States of America.

The constitution states that if a driver is found guilty of brake checking, then they should be sentenced to 2 years of jail and have to pay an unlimited amount of money decided by the court.

And if there are any accidents and deaths involved, the driver who is at fault has to spend 14 years of their life in jail and will be sentenced to a fine decided by the court. That’s the maximum punishment they could get.

What to do when you are brake checked?

There is only one possible way to rescue yourself when you’re being brake checked. Most times it’s the bikers and the motorists who will be brake checking you.

You have to keep a safe distance between you and the brake checker. That’s the best and only way to get out of this kind of scenario. Don’t let them take advantage of the distance and get you into trouble.

If you don’t maintain a certain distance between you and any other vehicle in front of you, you will be penalized because of tailgating anyways. So, either way, you should maintain a healthy distance between you and the brake checker.


Well, there aren’t many valid reasons for brake checking. So, when you encounter a brake checker, try to avoid him or report it to the police or traffic authorities to take proper actions.

And make sure not to road rage and brake check others. Trust us, it will harm many people in several ways.

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