How to Stop The Brake Checking Habit and Be a Safer Driver
Attorneys around the United States practicing accident law have had their share of experiences with brake-checking drivers. They’re either too anxious to drive on the road or worse, they’re aggressive, angry, and looking for a fight. When a brake check happens, the driver slams on the brakes abruptly to force a collision or uncomfortable evasive maneuver. Fortunately, in a world where brake-checking drivers can change, there are five steps to take to reduce the risk of an accident. Keep reading to find out what they are.
Set Aside Anxieties Toward Other Drivers
For inexperienced and anxious drivers alike, finding yourself tightly packed in on the road can influence you to make bad decisions while driving. For example, slamming on the brakes too soon. There are some cases where you might brake check a driver by mistake and being afraid or intimidated by other drivers is one of those cases. Fortunately, if you’re able to see other drivers and like yourself as part of a moving system, you’ll do just fine. Other drivers are no more superior or different than you and have similar motives for being on the road. Consider deep breathing, or meditation before going for a ride. You can also add calming music while driving to keep you from overreacting.
Be Assertive and Confident on the Road
A driver who lacks confidence may react unusually and put other drivers at risk. If you always have to wonder whether you’re driving too slow ahead of another driver, there’s a good chance you are and consequently, should consider moving to another lane. A brake check on your end is likely to happen unless you drive at a strong, consistent pace and resist the tendency to behave passively on the road. Switch lanes promptly and make your path on the road known. The truth about assertiveness is that other drivers will respect your driving more, a benefit that reduces the potential for misunderstandings on the road. So, be confident and assertive and leave fear in the rearview mirror for good.
Never Feed Into Another Driver’s Reckless Driving
You might feel inclined to brake check another driver if that driver was previously driving recklessly. Rather than allow yourself to get angry and feed into another driver’s negativity, look for the first opportunity to back away from the conflict. When you can slow down, pull over, or even veer in a different direction, you keep yourself safe. Feeding into another driver’s toxic behavior on the road will only increase your chances of being held liable in an accident. Be prepared to document the incident as necessary if there is damage as the result of another driver’s driving. Better to be safe than sorry when other drivers are acting up.
Learn to Cope With Your Anger Before You Drive
One mistake drivers make is getting into their vehicles when they’re too agitated and angry to take the wheel. Recent arguments, troubles at home or work, or a string of bad days can create a large amount of stress for a driver like yourself to manage. But on one hand, you can practice relaxation exercises throughout the day or even channel your anger into more frequent exercise. On the other hand, self-affirmations refer to positive statements you make about yourself that will help you before you drive. Confirm you’re a decent person and you’ll feel like a decent and less angry driver. Time-outs, “I” statements, and humor are other ways to help you cope with your anger before hitting the road.
With your attitude and anxiety in check, now all you need to do is make sure your vehicle is well-maintained. You’ll find little benefit in coping with anxiety and passiveness on the road if your car isn’t up for the task. On top of that, a lawyer is always nearby to help you if you get into an accident that involved a brake check. Keep your head on straight from here on out, and you may never have to worry about falling victim to this kind of offensive driving.