top of page
  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Exploring the Legal Consequences: Is Brake Checking Illegal in Indiana?

In Indiana, a combination of road rage, impulsive decisions, and the challenges of rush hour traffic creates a unique environment that frequently leads to aggressive drivers and a dangerous behavior known as brake checking.


Behind every unexpected car accident lies a story of abrupt stopping, a tailgating driver, and a helpless rear vehicle operator caught in the drama of a brake check accident. It's an alarming scenario, with its legality often questioned.


Now, is brake checking illegal in Indiana, or is it just another reckless driving tactic? The answer to this intriguing question unfolds in the rapidly escalating number of brake-checking accidents.


In this article, readers will learn more about the complex dynamics of rear-end collisions, the responsibilities of the drivers involved, and the challenging process of proving instances of brake checking.


By shedding light on these crucial aspects, this article aims to provide a better understanding of how these factors contribute to car accident cases in Indiana.


Understanding the Risks and Consequences of Brake Checking

Understanding the Risks and Consequences of Brake Checking


Brake checking might seem an innocent term, but its implications are far from harmless. It's a phenomenon where a motorist, driven by irritation or intimidation, abruptly hits the brakes.


This sudden action compels the other driver to react just as swiftly, either braking sharply or swerving, to evade a rear-end collision. They will be taken by surprise if they are abruptly brake checked by the vehicle in front of them.


At times, the element of surprise in a brake check leaves the rear driver little room to act, leading to car accidents. Moreover, the aftermath often spirals into a whirlwind of a blame game, each party claiming they've been wronged.


Furthermore, the motives behind brake checking are manifold. Some perceive it as a way to vent road rage, using it as a weapon to display displeasure or counter-tailgating.


Others execute brake checks as a reckless form of "fun," a dangerous maneuver capable of triggering devastating crashes, even without any malice.


However, the most sinister motive of all is insurance fraud. Certain individuals orchestrate brake-checking accidents intentionally to blame the rear driver, aiming to cash in on fraudulent insurance settlements.


Is Brake Checking Illegal in Indiana?


Engaging in a brake check, where a motorist intentionally decelerates sharply to deter a trailing vehicle, is not only dangerous but also forbidden by law.


In Indiana, such an act falls under aggressive driving, as outlined by the § 9-21-8-55 legal code. Recognizing brake checking as illegal represents a move to safeguard the safety of motorists.

The law states that drivers commit an aggressive driving offense if they engage in intimidating driving tactics intentionally or knowingly.


Reckless Driving: Unsafe Stopping or Slowing Down Provision


While the specific term "brake check" may not be mentioned explicitly in the legislation, it is included in the provision that prohibits unsafe stopping or slowing down.


Furthermore, the Indiana legal code also notes several other instances of aggressive driving. These include following too closely, driving unsafely, off-roadway overtaking, unnecessary horn usage, right-of-way noncompliance, unsafe speed, and consistent flashing of headlights.


Consequences of Brake Checking: Legal Penalties and Felony Charges


Convictions for aggressive driving, which might include brake checking, are usually pursued as Class A misdemeanors and carry penalties of up to $5,000 in fines and potential imprisonment for up to a year.

If the offense is committed in a highway work zone, aggravating circumstances can lead to the escalation of charges to a felony level. Brake checking is illegal in Indiana.


Aggressive Brake Checking: Consequences and Accountability


The act of an aggressive brake check poses significant risks to all parties involved, potentially leading to severe car accidents and personal injury lawsuits.


Usually, when a brake-checking accident occurs, the subsequent collision is termed a rear-end accident. Although the driver at the rear is generally deemed liable in such incidents, a brake-checking driver complicates this convention.


If it can be established that the leading driver brake checked with palpable hostility, they might be held accountable for the crash. This driver could then be subject to a personal injury lawsuit if the trailing driver, or their passengers, were injured in the incident.


In these situations, to determine responsibility, it is necessary to demonstrate that the driver who performed the brake check is at least 50% liable for the accident due to their aggressive driving behavior.

Such proof demands the understanding of experienced car accident attorneys or lawyers.


Promoting Safe and Respectful Operating Practices for the Rear Driver


Young motorists often engage in brake checks as pranks or jests, but such reckless behavior can result in serious accidents and, by extension, severe penalties. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can advise on who is at fault in a rear-end collision in Indiana.


Therefore, it is important to understand that performing a brake check, whether with the intention to commit insurance fraud or as a response to road rage, is considered unacceptable both from a legal and moral standpoint.


Instead, drivers should opt for safer responses, such as switching lanes or maintaining a steady speed when confronted with a tailgater.


Furthermore, the actions of both drivers in a brake check accident are critical in determining responsibility. By highlighting safe and respectful driving, incidents, such as aggressive brake checks, can be avoided, making the roads safer for everyone.


The Role of a Lawyer in Brake Check Situations

The Role of a Lawyer in Brake Check Situations


In instances where a brake check leads to a rear-end collision, acquiring the services of an experienced car accident lawyer is crucial. Plus, proving that the other driver brake checked intentionally can be daunting.


It's not simply about establishing that brake checking is illegal but about demonstrating the sequence of events leading to the collision.


If the other driver vehemently denies brake testing or aggressive driving, a legal professional can be instrumental in collecting evidence, interpreting laws, and representing the affected individual in court.

Therefore, in such cases, Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can offer the necessary legal assistance.


The Bottom Line


When it comes to dealing with the intricacies of brake-checking incidents, understanding the legality of the action is just the starting point. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also answer questions like, "Are u turns illegal in Indiana?"


To fully understand the situation, it's important to take into account the actions of the other driver and the events that led up to their aggressive brake checking.


Unraveling these details can help prove brake checking and possibly reveal a pattern of aggressive driving. Victims should remember that the aftermath of rear-end accidents caused by brake checking can be daunting.


Should anyone find themselves entangled in such an incident, Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys stand ready to offer expert assistance and guidance through the legal process.

Comments


bottom of page