Trucker 639 Dcow Brake 1

Dash Cam of the Week: Put the brakes on brake-checking

May 6, 2016
Please stop stopping like that, because you never know what might happen

Why can’t we all just get along? In particular, we refer to temper-tantrum throwing four-wheeler drivers who, for some reason, think it's a good idea to pull in front of an 80,000-lb. rig and mess with it by suddenly stomping on the brakes. “Brake checking” seems to be the accepted usage—and behavior—these days. Please stop stopping like that, folks.

In our quest for teachable moments with each Dash Cam of the Week, we have to peruse dozens—if not hundreds—of clips, and we certainly see a lot of the same sorts of events. The amount of road rage out there on the highways makes us really mad. And a passive-aggressive subset of road rage is brake checking. Apparently, a lot of angry drivers are betting that the law will be on their side in any rear-end collision, and that the object of their anger will know that, too—and therefore won’t hit them. So it becomes a silly game of chicken, with too many people apparently thinking that they can pop off on the highway and get away with it the same way they do when they post angry anonymous comments on social media.

Will dash cams make a difference in these kinds of cases? You be the judge. Here in the global DCOW studio headquarters, the consensus—as we’ve mentioned before—is that nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong. Don’t let the vermin lure you into their trap, professional driver. Remain calm and truck on.

In this first clip, the four-wheeler driver thinks brake checking on a wet highway somehow makes up for his inability to merge properly.

A trucker’s dash cam shows why brake checking isn’t a game (and no one roots for tailgaters).

This trucker had enough, and—at least according to the description with the YouTube post—the pickup driver had to change his story when the responding trooper informed him that the tractor-trailer was equipped with a dash cam.

Sadly, truck drivers aren’t all perfect. Please, no more trucker-on-trucker stupidity.

About the Author

Kevin Jones | Editor

Kevin has served as editor-in-chief of Trailer/Body Builders magazine since 2017—just the third editor in the magazine’s 60 years. He is also editorial director for Endeavor Business Media’s Commercial Vehicle group, which includes FleetOwner, Bulk Transporter, Refrigerated Transporter, American Trucker, and Fleet Maintenance magazines and websites.

Working from Little Rock, Kevin has covered trucking and manufacturing for 15 years. His writing and commentary about the trucking industry and, previously, business and government, has been recognized with numerous state, regional, and national journalism awards.

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