I brought my Trek to a bicycle shop to change the chain as it was getting rusty. Forgot to install the rear brake pads for the bicycle because I was using the planet X rear wheel as my other wheel set do not have tires. The mechanic saw it and he goes like “Eh bro, you don’t have rear brake ah? “I have forgot to put it cause I was more interested in getting the rusty chain out!
Personally, for me I have never used much of my rear brake ever since I cracked my previous planet X rim and before that; damaged 3 tires due to skidding. Though I got to admit rear brakes has slightly lesser braking power than the front and it is easier to modulate the braking power. The front brake on the other hand, if press too hard and sudden, it will lead to the bicycle endoing and if not alert enough, you might fly off together with your legs stuck on the pedals of the bike!
Front brake IMHO has lesser chance of damaging your tires as it stops the motion as oppose to the rear brake where it only reduces the motion of the bicycle. It is also much faster to brake and stop completely as compared to the rear brake. In an emergency,people will tend to panic and use whatever they could see or been taught on hand to brake. Thus, if I was panicking and all along have been using rear brake, I would use the rear brake (or both) and would be harder to avoid accidents for happening. With front braking, it is less of a problem as all I need to do is to increase the amount of power than I normally used.
Now if only UCI could say that if rear braking was optional, I would remove it on the spot. But unfortunately for safety reasons, this cannot be done.