4 Ways to Combat Brake Checking

5 Mar 2020

Brake checking is a dangerous game for drivers to play on the road. Especially when they are playing it with your vehicles, equipment, cargo, reputation, and liability to fund their efforts. For those who have never heard the term “brake checking,” it refers to the act of hitting the brakes really hard to make the person behind you respond in kind. It seems innocent enough.

Unfortunately, we live in a distracted driving kind of world where it is very possible they’ll never see it coming, and a simple act designed to discourage tailgating results in an accident with injuries, or even deaths. Or it could be worse: a chain reaction of accidents that result in both.

Brake checking is undoubtedly an action that should be strongly discouraged among your fleet drivers. These are a few things you can do to combat brake checking within your fleet, like the four things listed below.

  1. Create zero-tolerance policies for brake checking. These policies need to be drilled into your drivers before they ever set foot in one of your company vehicles. They need to understand that this is an offense slated for immediate dismissal and explain to them that you will receive instant notifications when this occurs.
  2. Install GPS tracking in your fleet vehicles. Beyond actually installing GPS vehicle tracking, make sure you set up instant alerts when hard braking, fast accelerations, speeding, and other aggressive driving behaviors, indicative of hard braking occur. This is a practice fleets can have a zero tolerance policy for as it represents a significant risk to the safety of all drivers on the road.
  3. Install dash cameras. In defense of your drivers you must also account for instances where they are responding to thins going on in front of them when hard braking to come to a complete stop in a matter of seconds. Dashboard cameras or even multi-angle cameras can be instrumental in protecting your drivers against accusations of brake checking because you want your drivers to understand that while you do not condone and will not tolerate the practice, you do have their backs when they are wrongly accused.
  4. Reward good driver behavior. You want drivers on your team who are safe behind the wheel and respectful of the brand and reputation you’ve worked so hard to cultivate. Reward them well to keep them driving for your organization.

Brake checking is a hazard on the roads for all involved and can be a huge financial liability to your organization when your drivers do it. These four things can help you combat it within your ranks.

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