Beware of the Brake Checking Drivers

We have all been there before. You are driving in the fast lane and suddenly come upon a slow car. IN THE FAST LANE! Yes, I know this can be frustrating.

So what do we do? First, you give the driver ahead of you a friendly flash of your lights. You may do this a couple of times in an attempt to civilly resolve the matter. If this does not work you then proceed to ride the bumper of the car in front of you to let them know you are, not only in a hurry, but that you intend to display your horsepower if required.

Before we move forward, please note I do not advise this behavior above . I am only speaking from what I have observed on the roadways over the years. What you should do is take a few deep breathes and wait for an opportunity to pass the vehicle safely.

Now back to our topic. You are now fuming on the inside becasuse you have somewhere to go and clearly the car in front of you is a “fill in the blank explicative.”

These situations can be tough for many drivers. Especially those who have lead feet. But there may in fact be an emergency. You may be late for a meeting. Your wife may be having a baby. You may be the guest speaker at a conference. It could be an endless possibility of issues. Bottom line is that you have somewhere to go.

If you have ever been in this situation, you know that the other driver is not going to be pleased with you riding his bumper. He is going to do one of three things. First, he may in fact move over. If this happenes, then hooray for you, crisis averted. He may decide to start driving slower. Yes, I have seen this happen. This will get your blood boiling on a slow cooker. This action is most commmonly coupled with the follow up speeding up in passing areas to prevent you from passing.

Lastly, he may tap the brakes. This is when you know that the driver ahead of you is not happy.

Of course, there may be some issues for the brake tapper. They may be found liable for acting recklessly or for causing the accident. However, the initial case will be against you for driving too closely.

O.C.G.A. § 40-6-49(a) addresses the rule of following too closely. It states that ‘the driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.”

There is a lot to cover in this law. Much of the language suggest that if you are the vehicle following too close, there are many factors that will be determined in deciding whether you were at fault. Was the distance reasonable? What were the traffic conditions? What was the conditions of the roadway?

Also, the driver in front may say a dog ran out in front or a squirrel and you will be fighting an uphill battle against the other driver and the law. Worse yet, you may be fighting with physical injuries sustained in the accident.

If you have been charged with following too close and causing an accident and the other driver was tapping the breaks, call an experienced attorney to find out whether you have a case against the other driver. Every case is different and will depend on the facts of the case.

In the meantime, avoid tailgating. Unless of course you are watching football.

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