Know the Road with the CHP: Is it legal to "brake check" the car behind you?

A viewer wanted to know: if someone is tailgating me, is it legal for me to pump on my brakes to get them to back off?

"Oftentimes, what happens is the driver who is tailgating the person in front of them is doing so knowingly in hopes that that person gets out of their way because they want to proceed at a faster pace than which the vehicle is traveling," said Sgt. Brian Pennings with the California Highway Patrol.

RELATED | Driver 'brake checks' vehicle causing dramatic crash caught on video
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Dashcam video captured a road rage incident on Highway 50 in Sacramento, where a driver "brake checked" a vehicle, causing another motorist to lose control and slam into the first car.



"To intentionally apply your brakes because somebody is tailgating you could be a violation of 22109, which is known as brake checking. Sometimes this will lead to an aggressive confrontation known as road rage."

"So the best thing to do if somebody is tailgating is to just move over and allow them to proceed down the road, rather than engaging them, which could lead to a confrontation," Pennings said.

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Road rage incidents happen often on the streets of Southern California. See 10 dramatic road rage incidents caught on camera.

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