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Did a motorist's brake-checking cause the crash?

Truckers get a bad reputation for causing highway accidents. Much of it is undeserved, however. There is no doubt that the size and weight disparity between passenger vehicles and loaded semitrucks do not bode well for those riding in the smaller automobiles.

But often it is those drivers that create the havoc and danger in the first place. One way they do this is by brake-checking big rigs.

Drivers change lanes and enter the highway right in front of semitrucks that are barreling along at 70 mph. The drivers then glance up in the rear-view mirror and see a big rig behemoth bearing down on their rear bumpers.

No one wants to be tailgated, so they figure they will teach those truckers a lesson and brake-check them.

If they are lucky, they will survive their folly. But they may never realize the chaos they create in the traffic patterns of those driving behind the trucker. Brake-checking motorists are a common cause of highway pile-ups. But by the time the damage is done, they're miles down the highway.

In the above scenario, it's not the trucker who is at fault in the accident. But you can believe that injured parties will look to the trucking companies for compensation, as they are perceived as deep-pocketed defendants after highway collisions leave injured plaintiffs.

Brake-checking is a passive example of road rage. The driver isn't swearing, shouting or flipping off the truck driver. Motorists who tap their brakes may not even understand just how deadly their actions may be. They go tooling down the highway, oblivious or uncaring toward the carnage left behind.

Dash cam video can often exonerate truckers who get sued after collisions. A camera can capture the events leading up to the accident and also record the license plate numbers of the drivers who may have caused the crash.

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