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Car Accidents Caused By Brake Checking In Colorado

Driving can be an irritating, tedious job that’s made worse when other drivers are inconsiderate or don’t follow the rules of the road. Every driver is responsible for their own behavior, even if others are being rude. Reacting to another driver’s immature or illegal actions only adds to the problem and creates unsafe conditions for everyone. 

As Denver’s population continues to grow, so does the number of cars and trucks on the road. One form of road rage that is becoming all too common is brake checking. This dangerous practice can cause serious and even fatal accidents. 

What Is Brake Checking?

Even if it’s never been directed at you, the chances that you’ve witnessed brake checking in or around Denver are high. Also called brake “testing,” brake checking is slamming on the brakes when there is no real reason to slow down.

Frustrated drivers may brake check someone they feel is following too closely or tailgating. A driver might also slam on their brakes after getting ahead of a car that cut them off in traffic earlier. While it is important for drivers to maintain a safe following distance, brake checking is not a solution. 

Don’t take the bait if you accidentally (or purposefully) cut someone off and notice that they have changed lanes to speed ahead of you. They may be planning on brake-checking. Slow down, allow adequate space between your vehicles, and change lanes when it is safe to do so. Tailgating or further irritating the other driver will only make matters more dangerous. 

It is also possible for a driver to try the brake check maneuver because they are purposefully trying to cause an accident. In Colorado and most other states, a driver who rear-ends another car is considered at fault. While rare, brake checking in the hope of an insurance settlement is a dangerous practice. 

Whatever the reason it’s being used, brake checking is illegal in Colorado and should be avoided. 

Common Types of Accidents Caused By Brake Checking

A rear-end accident is the most common type of motor vehicle crash caused by brake checking. When a driver unexpectedly slams on their brakes, especially with no obvious hazards ahead, it increases the likelihood of being rear-ended by the car behind them. For this reason, brake checking becomes even more dangerous in winter driving conditions.

The rear driver could also be involved in an accident if they swerve to miss the lead car. They may swerve into another lane and hit one or more other vehicles, crash head-first into a median divider, or drive off the road and into even more dangerous conditions. 

Common Types of Injuries Caused By Brake Checking Crashes

Some of the injuries that may occur due to brake checking include the following:

  • Whiplash and neck strains
  • Broken bones
  • Back or neck injuries
  • Head trauma, including traumatic brain injury
  • Facial scarring and disfigurement
  • Death

Like distracted driving, brake checking is dangerous to the driver who is doing it (and their passengers), to the rear driver, and to all other vehicles and pedestrians who could be in the path of the accident. 

What To Do After a Brake Checking Accident In Colorado 

If you’ve been involved in a brake-checking accident, the first important step is to remain calm and avoid further confrontation. Don’t make accusations. If someone is angry and unsafe enough to risk causing an auto accident, they could be capable of causing further harm. 

Call 911 and let the police handle the situation. If it is safe to do so, remain in your car with the doors locked until the police arrive. Other steps to take include:

Move from the Flow of Traffic

Move your vehicle to the side of the road if you can do so safely. If your car is inoperable, move yourself out of harm’s way and wait for assistance to arrive. 

Call Emergency Services

If you or anyone involved in the accident is injured, call an ambulance. Even minor injuries can require medical care. 

Stay Quiet

Don’t admit fault or blame the other person. Answer any questions from the police honestly. Lying could harm your legal standing in the future. Remember, you are not legally obligated to make a statement to the police. 

Collect Information

If you are able to do so, speak with witnesses and collect their contact information. Take photos of the accident scene, including of your damaged property. 

Seek Medical Attention

You may not notice any injuries immediately after an auto accident, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Some injuries, like whiplash, may not become apparent for several days. Seeking medical attention is the best way to protect your health and strengthen a potential lawsuit. Make sure to follow all medical advice and keep any recommended therapy appointments. 

Consult With a Personal Injury Attorney

Before signing a claim settlement, speak with an attorney who is experienced in road rage cases. You may be entitled to significant financial compensation that covers not only immediate medical bills but lost and future wages and any ongoing medical care that’s needed for your injuries. 

Avoid Brake Checking Accidents 

Road rage behaviors like brake checking cause dangerous driving conditions for everyone nearby. You can help reduce the amount of brake checking on Colorado roads by being a considerate driver. 

Every driver makes a mistake now and then. If you accidentally cut in front of another driver, make some effort to apologize. A wave and mouthing the words “I’m sorry” can go a long way. If the other driver attempts to engage in brake checking and other aggressive behaviors, keep your distance. If your schedule allows, get off at the closest exit and take a short break. 

Being a considerate driver will help keep you and your passengers — as well as other commuters — safe on the road. If you are involved in a brake-checking accident, follow the normal post-accident protocols and avoid further engagement with the hostile driver.

A Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You Recover Compensation

If you have been in a car accident, a car accident lawyer can help. Car accident lawyers will explain how they will handle your claim and how they can help you recover damages. They can help you throughout the claims process, from the initial case evaluation to trial if necessary. 

For more information please contact Zaner Harden Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free initial consultation with a Denver car accident lawyer.

Zaner Harden Personal Injury Lawyers
1610 Wynkoop Street, Suite 120. Denver, CO 80202
(720) 613 9706

Where We Are

We are located across the street from Union Station in downtown Denver and offer validated parking for all our clients. We also have offices in Boulder and Colorado Springs.