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When Failure to Properly Maintain a Vehicle Causes a Car Accident

There is a lot written about the different driving behaviors that should be avoided in order to decrease a driver’s risk of being involved in a crash. This includes avoiding distracted driving behaviors, drinking and driving, and obeying traffic laws. But there is something else a driver must also do to keep themselves and those they share the roads with safe and that is to properly maintain their vehicles.

Crashes happen because a vehicle owner fails to maintain their cars are entirely preventable, as are the injuries that result from these crashes. Ignoring warning lights on the dashboard, keeping an eye out for any wear on tire treads, and having the vehicle periodically maintained by a mechanic is key to reducing your risk of being in an accident.

 

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What Are some of the Common Vehicle Issues that Can Cause Accidents?

The following are issues that vehicle owners ignore that frequently result in crashes:

  • Brake malfunctions: Vehicle owners need to be aware that brake pads wear down and need to be replaced on a routine basis, especially if they do a lot of stop-and-go driving, such as during morning and evening rush hour times. There are also hydraulic and mechanical parts to a vehicle’s braking system that can cause problems. And it is also important to periodically check the vehicle’s brake fluid.
  • Broken defrosters: If a vehicle’s front or rear defrosting system is not working properly, it can hamper a driver’s ability to see the road around them during poor weather conditions.
  • Loose lug nuts: Lug nuts are necessary to keep the wheel and hubcap of a vehicle together. If they become loose, the wheel can actually fall off the vehicle. In order to tighten the lug nuts, it is important the vehicle not be directly on the ground with the weight on it, but instead be jacked up.
  • Rust: Rust not only affects the cosmetic look of a vehicle, but it can be dangerous to the mechanical workings of a car. If there is severe rust, important parts of the vehicle could loosen, fall off, or collapse. Weather and location, such as near the ocean, can make a vehicle more susceptible to rusting.
  • Steering linkage wear: If parts of the steering linkage fail, the ability of the driver to control the vehicle can be greatly affected. For example, if the linkage gives out, the vehicle could sharply head into a direction, leaving the driver with no way to steer. This could cause the vehicle to steer directly into oncoming traffic or other dangerous situation.
  • Tire issues: Every vehicle owner needs to be aware of the shape their tires are in. This includes having the proper amount of air. A tire that is underinflated can fail. A tire that overheats can cause a vehicle to crash.  If the tread in the tires become worn, there is no traction to grip the road with, especially during rain or other bad weather situations. If the tire blows, this can cause the vehicle to spin out of control.
  • Mechanic’s fault: In some cases, the driver had the vehicle serviced by a mechanic shortly before the crash, but the mechanic failed to repair the issue or caused another problem that made the vehicle crash.

Contact a Virginia Car Accident Lawyer

If you have been injured in a crash, contact a Virginia car accident attorney to see what type of financial damages you may be entitled to. The legal team from Shapiro & Appleton have been advocating for injured clients since 1985 and will do all we can to ensure you receive the best possible outcome under the circumstances of your case. If you would like to meet with one of our skilled North Carolina car accident attorneys to find out how we can help, call us today at 800-752-0042 or a free case evaluation.

Eric K. Washburn
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia