Vehicle Maintenance and Its Effect on Car Crashes | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

Every day we see the stories in the news that just verify over and over again how dangerous North Carolina and the nation’s roads can be. According to national statistics, there are about six million car accidents each year. These crashes result in three million people seriously injured; two million of those victims are vehicle drivers. Ninety victims die each day in these accidents.

There are many reasons why car accidents happen, including negligent drivers, road conditions, and bad weather. However, one of the most common causes of crashes is the incomplete or improper maintenance of vehicles that are on the road. There are several reasons why this can occur, including the following:

  • The vehicle owner fails to bring the vehicle to a mechanic for regular vehicle maintenance and/or for repair when something is not working correctly.
  • The vehicle owner fails to bring the vehicle in for repair upon receiving a recall notice.
  • The repair shop or vehicle dealership uses a bad or faulty part from the manufacturer.
  • A repair shop employee does not install a new party or equipment correctly.

Vehicle Maintenance Equals Road Safety

If a vehicle owner fails to routinely inspect their vehicle and have regular maintenance performed on their vehicle, they can be held liable if there is a crash and the cause of the crash is linked to the issue of failing to keep the vehicle in safe and proper working order.

Let’s take a look at a vehicle owner who fails to check the tread on the vehicle tires and the tread becomes worn down. One day, the owner is driving to work during a snowstorm. The lack of tread on the tires causes the driver to lose control of the vehicle and it slides and slams into another car, causing the occupants in that vehicle serious injury. The crash occurred not because of bad weather, but because the owner was driving around on bald tires.

Some of the more frequent causes of improper vehicle maintenance that the legal team at our firm often see in the cases we handle include:

  • Engine failure
  • Faulty/defective parts
  • Leaking or low brake fluid
  • Leaking or low steering fluid
  • Overdue oil change
  • Rust and corrosion
  • Worn brake pads/rotors

Vehicle lights are also a critical issue for safety. Drivers should always make sure all the lights of the vehicle are lit before they driver off at night, otherwise, the driver’s visibility will be hampered. The driver should also make sure the headlights are clean and the turn signal lights are working. Working brake lights are critical to safety because if the driver stops and the brake lights don’t work, the vehicle in the rear may not realize the stop and slam into their vehicle.

When the Manufacturer Is at Fault

If there is a defect in a vehicle part, that defect can cause a vehicle failure, such as the brakes or engine, and this can cause the driver to hit another vehicle, pedestrian, or property. If the defect is in the safety system, such as a seat belt or airbag, the defect can result in a lack of protection when there is a crash. For example, if a seat belt defect causes the belt to unlatch in a crash, the driver could be thrown from the vehicle and suffer severe injury or death.

Let a Carolinas Car Accident Attorney Help

If you have been injured in a car accident, not only to you have to deal with the physical and emotional effects of the accident, but you are likely dealing with the financial consequences, as well. Injured victims often have high medical bills as a result of the treatments their injuries require. Depending on how serious those injuries are, recovery typically includes staying out of work until the injuries have healed. This means no weekly paycheck for many victims.

If the crash was caused by another party who behaved recklessly or negligently, North Carolina allows victims to take legal action in order to be financially compensated for all of these financial expenses. Victims can also pursue damages for losses that are not economic, such as pain and suffering, scarring emotional anguish, and more.

If you would like to discuss your situation, contact our office to speak with a seasoned North Carolina accident attorney. Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp has been advocating for accident victims for more than three decades and will work diligently to get you the compensation you deserve.