Uncovering Hidden Liability: The Role of Vehicle Maintenance in Car Accidents
Proper vehicle maintenance is essential to help prevent a car accident. Regular maintenance not only extends the life of your vehicle but also prevents breakdowns and system failures that could put your and other motorists’ and pedestrians’ lives at risk. In addition, it could protect you from liability in an accident. Here are some common ways poor vehicle maintenance could lead to an accident and what you should do to prevent it.
Five Common Vehicle Maintenance Mistakes
- Brake failure. Good brakes are crucial for a driver to stop quickly to avoid an accident, and poorly maintained brakes are a common cause of rear-end accidents. Malfunctioning anti-lock brake systems or worn-out brake pads, lines, or rotors could lead to a catastrophic collision. Regular inspections are crucial to maintaining the brakes on your vehicle.
- Burned-out headlights or turn signals. When headlights are burned out, it’s harder for you to see other drivers and pedestrians on the road and for them to see you. In addition, turn signals let people on the road know your intentions; when they don’t work, it could lead to a collision. You must clean your headlights regularly so they function optimally, and if you notice that your headlights or turn signals are not working, have them repaired as soon as possible.
- Poorly maintained tires. Friction causes tires to lose tread over time, lessening their grip on the road. This could make it harder for a driver to stop to avoid a crash or cause the vehicle to skid in icy conditions and collide with another car. In addition, worn-out tires with sidewall damage can blow out, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle and collide with traffic. Regularly check tire pressure, alignment, and tread, and replace them as needed.
- Worn out windshield wipers. Windshield wipers ensure you can see the road clearly by wiping away rain, snow, dirt, and debris from your windshield. Over time, the blades could become frayed, worn, and damaged, and unable to clean your windshield effectively and allow you to see the road. When this happens, you must replace your windshield wiper blades.
- Power steering malfunction. Most cars today have power steering, which makes it easier to steer your vehicle and turn the wheels. When the power steering system malfunctions, it could make it significantly harder to steer and maneuver your car, potentially leading to a collision. This can happen due to too much or too little power steering fluid, contaminated fluid, a leaky hose, a broken belt, or a damaged pump. It is essential to check fluid levels routinely and for any leaks or broken belts. If you suspect your power steering system fluid is becoming dirty, have it flushed.
Can I Be Held Liable for An Accident Due to Poor Vehicle Maintenance?
You can be liable for an accident if your vehicle is poorly maintained. On the other hand, if you were hurt or harmed in an accident due to another driver’s poor vehicle maintenance, the other driver may be at fault. However, if the accident was due to a defective car part, the manufacturer may be at fault for the crash and held liable in a product liability claim. An experienced car accident attorney will investigate your accident and determine the next steps.
We’re Car Accident Attorneys Who Are On Your Side
Unfortunately, no matter how well you maintain your car, you can still be involved in a collision at any time due to another driver’s poor vehicle maintenance. It could feel isolating and overwhelming when it happens, leaving you shaken and unsure of where to turn. However, you don’t need to go through this alone. At The Goss Law Firm, our car accident attorneys have seen the devastating impact of an accident firsthand. We also know insurance companies’ tactics to give you an insufficient settlement and keep more money in their pockets. Our skilled, compassionate car accident attorneys are here to help secure the compensation you could be entitled to by law and are ready to speak with you for free.
Contact us today by submitting a form below or calling our office at 816-888-5000 for a free legal consultation.