As many parents have informed their teenage children, owning an automobile is a major responsibility. A car needs to be driven safely, properly stored, and taken care of. Oftentimes, when we think of how important our vehicles are, we think about how we need them to get back and forth to work, school, the doctor’s office, or other locations. In truth, however, car maintenance is vitally important to your safety and the safety of others. Operating a poorly maintained vehicle can be considered a form of negligence, possibly opening you up to a lawsuit.
The short answer is: yes. Some states, Arizona being one of them, determine fault in an accident based on the negligence of the parties involved. Often times, that negligence can be a driving infraction, like speeding, an illegal lane change, failure to signal, or running a stop sign. Negligence can also pertain to the condition of a person’s vehicle, especially if it hasn’t been maintained properly. From 2005 to 2007, 44,000 car crashes were attributed to primarily being caused by a problem with the vehicle. However, because these determinations were being made purely through a visual examination and didn’t include a detailed technical inspection, that numerical figure may be lower than what it actually is.
The primary cause of these types of crashes was linked to tire failure. Tires are one of the easier parts of a car to monitor and maintain. Sometimes, tire failure can result from a manufacturing defect, but more often than not, it’s a result of poor maintenance. Underinflated tires wear down faster and are more susceptible to external damage. Bald tires, which have worn down their treads, also can cause a driver to lose control of their car more easily, especially at high speeds or inclement weather. The other most common mechanical failure leading to crashes is brake failure. Though not as easy to check for problems as tires are, the symptoms of impending brake failure are readily apparent. A “mushy” feeling when stepping on the pedal, vibrating or shaking when you use the brakes, a warning light indicating low brake fluid; if your brakes are starting to wear down, you should be able to feel it in your vehicle. If you’ve been in an accident due to negligence on the part of another driver, you should contact an experienced auto accident attorney who may be able to help you prove the other driver was at fault.
Vehicles that weigh over 10,000 pounds have to be registered with the Department Of Transportation as a commercial vehicle. Due to the size of these vehicles, they and their drivers have to undergo specific evaluations to ensure safety on the roads. However, this doesn’t always happen as it should, and commercial vehicles unfit for driving can ultimately fail. The trucking industry is one such area where these regulations are applied due to the many hundreds of hours and thousands of miles these vehicles are in use. If an accident occurs which involves a large truck, an experienced truck accident attorney can potentially acquire the maintenance records from the company associated with the vehicle to see if a lack of proper maintenance contributed to the crash.
Proper car maintenance is critical to ensuring your safety out on the road. Something as simple as the cleanliness of your windshield can be the difference between avoiding and causing an accident. But even if your automobile is in pristine condition, others on the road may not be. If you’re involved in an accident that results from another driver’s neglect of their vehicle, call ELG Law at 623-321-0566 for a free consultation. Sometimes, accidents are unavoidable, but ELG Law can help maintain your case and fight to recover your losses on your behalf.