How To Test Your Brake Lights ... Alone!

The brake light test trick.
The brake light test trick in action. photo by Matt Wright, 2009
Are your brake lights working? Do drivers seem to be charging your rear bumper? Before you get a ticket, or worse, you should give the brake lights a test. But you're all alone, how can you do it? You could ask your retired next door neighbor, but you have other plans for the next 3 hours of your life. Here is your answer, and it's simple.

All you need is a broomstick. Any removable broomstick will do, or mop handle, or anything of similar length.

You can even use the whole broom if you're ok with the business end being in your car seat!

Take one end of the stick and press the brake pedal, then prop the other end firmly against the seat cushion. Now walk around back and check your brake lights!

Update! My new favorite reader, J.V. Schaefer, has just offered a much easier solution to the problem of checking your own brake lights. He suggests backing up to a large glass window, like a storefront window, and using the reflection of your car or truck to check that your brake lights, tails, turn signals or reverse lights are working. Easy test! Thanks J.V.