Is Brake Checking Illegal in Canada?

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Brake checking is the term used for describing rages on the road. You might have faced such a situation on the highways where people tend to drive faster.

But it is time to ask, is brake checking illegal in Canada?

The answer is simple. Yes, it is. There are many different ways to solve a problem with rational thinking when you are behind the wheels. And brake testing cannot be an option.

Well, here is everything you need to know about this practice. In addition, we have also tried to include the legal consequences of this illegal practice.

What is Brake Checking?

Before explaining why brake checking is illegal in Canada, let us discuss when you would refer to an accident caused by brake testing. Let’s discuss the term with a scenario.

Suppose someone is driving too close behind your car. If you pump on the brakes repeatedly, deliberately, and without giving any prior signal, you are brake checking the person behind you.

Due to your action, the person behind you may feel annoyed, angry, or frustrated. And so, he may brake hard to stop the car or take an evasive decision to overtake your car. At that point, the situation will get worse, and brakes or speeding can cause a collision without any doubt.

Why Do People Brake Check?

People brake check not because they need to stop but to scare the person behind them or make him lose control and collide.

Some people do this to have fun and challenge the driver behind them to initiate a race. In another case, if you are unlucky enough, you can meet such drivers who deliberately brake tests you to make you fall for their tricks.

Since brake checking is illegal, they want you to collide with your car at the rear end so that they can report that as an accident and claim compensation from you.

Read More: Is Lane Splitting Legal in Alberta?

Is Brake Checking Illegal in Canada?

Without any doubt, brake checking is illegal in Canada; it falls under the category of risky driving and is punishable by a two-year prison term and an unlimited fine. If a collision results in a death, the consequences are (correctly) significantly worse. The highest penalty for causing someone’s death by driving recklessly is 14 years in prison and an infinite fine.

Why is Brake Checking Illegal?

Brake Checking is not safe in any circumstances. No matter how the other driver is tempting you, it would help if you never braked check them. This practice can lead to serious damage to your lives and your cars. And also to the other vehicles driving beside you.

This form of driving is reckless, risky, and avoidable, so the Canadian Highways Network regards this as an illegal act on the road. Even if the person at fault is forcing you to do so, you should stay calm, think rationally, and take any other action than doing the illegal act.

Who Will Be at Fault?

In a normal scenario, the driver at the rear-end is responsible if a collision happens after the driver in front is checking the brake. The reason behind this is that you should drive maintaining a safe distance so that if the front car stops or pumps the brakes, you can take the time to stop as well.

However, the case can turn upside down for the rear-end driver when they have a dashcam installed at the front of their car. At that point, they will have the evidence that the vehicle in front was brake testing illegally and continuously, without any warning.

Ending up in colliding is inevitable, and then the person at-fault will be charged with serious motoring offences. For example:

  • Legally responsible for the accident
  • Illegal driving
  • Reckless driving
  • Threatening on the road

Read Also: Know everything about Rear-End Collision

What is Tailgating?

The opposite of brake checking is tailgating. It may happen when you cannot push the brake because the driver behind you is driving too close. You need sufficient room if you want to apply a hard brake.

So, tailgating leaves you no place to stop your car without colliding.

And similar to brake-checking, tailgating is also illegal.

What to Do If Someone is Brake Checking or Tailgating You?

It is not safe on the road to make any rash decision that you will regret later. Therefore, keep in mind the following tips on reacting when facing such action.

  • Maintain a safe distance from another car
  • Calmly park the car on the side of the road
  • Try to give the tailgater some space to let them the go-ahead
  • Maintain the speed limit according to the Motor Vehicle Act
  • Learn how to drive without overusing your brake

What to Do After Collision?

If you are a victim of any of the acts mentioned above, you should not admit that you are at fault in the first place. It is a wise idea to install a dashcam so that you can record everything that may happen on the road while driving.

Even if someone is tempting you or fuels your rage, stay calm. Yet, if you cannot control the car and end up colliding anyway, follow the steps below:

  • Call for police and medical attention
  • Report the incident
  • Snap pictures of the accident scene, your damaged car, car number plate of the other car
  • Collect an accident report copy
  • Inform your insurance company.


It would be best to remember that there are other alternatives when someone tailgates you or annoys you while driving. You can pull over to the side of the road and talk with the other driver to avoid any heating argument after colliding with each other’s car.

Now that you know the answer to your question- ‘Is Brake Checking Illegal?’, we hope you will be careful while driving on the highway. You can always call for help from the patrol police if you want.

And also, try to install a dashcam in both the back and front of your car. It will help you record who is at fault when an accident happens after brake testing.

Frequently Asked Questions:

You may find the answer to these FAQs useful while we are still on the topic.

What is Brake Checking?

When you suddenly push the brake while another car is driving behind you, it is brake checking. The driver in front may make you slow down your vehicle or change your lane to avoid accidents.

Is It Illegal to Brake Test Someone?

Yes, it is illegal to brake-test. The car driver behind, who is a victim of the situation, may accelerate the speed or change lanes to avoid the car in front and cause accidents.

Is Brake Checking Safe?

No, the way people pump brakes repeatedly without notifying the other car behind them is not safe at all. This phenomenon can only lead to a rear-end collision.

What is the Point of Brake Checking?

People choose this action for two reasons. One is to message the other driver to stop tailgating and change the lane to go faster. And the other one is to challenge or annoy someone.

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