Is it Illegal to ‘Brake Check’ the Driver Behind You in New York?
Riding too closely behind another driver is a violation but if you 'brake check' when there's someone driving close behind you are you actually breaking the law too?
Many Hudson Valley drivers make an observation as the weather gets warmer. Other motorists seem to get more reckless. What is it about warmer temperatures that cause drivers to be more aggressive? Is it because our blood is slowly boiling?
I guess it's not just limited to cars. According to Psychological Science, scientists have been tracking the correlation between summer months and the rise in angry behavior for years. People are just agitated more easily and that's not good when they're behind the wheel.
One of the most common road rage incidents to occur is 'tailgating' and 'brake checking' other drivers (tapping on the brakes quickly to scare the close driver behind you vehicle. Both are extremely foolish but are they illegal as well?
Here is what local attorney, Alex Mainetti has to say about it:
Brake checking somebody can actually be illegal if it can be proven it was intentional and that the “Brake Checker” was aware of the risk of his actions will have to other drivers on the road. The brake checker could arguably be charged with Reckless Endangerment in the second degree a misdemeanor. We’ve seen this scenario in our injury cases when a driver rear-ends another car because it brake checked them. In that situation the brake checker could actually be held liable/at fault for causing the rear end collision, which is interesting because in almost all other scenarios the rear-ender is liable for “following too close”. - Alexander E. Mainetti, Esq.
You should think twice about doing either on roadways. Drive safe.