How Does Car Maintenance Prevent Accidents?

Car Accidents | July 25, 2023

Motor vehicles must be properly maintained by their owners to operate safely. A careless lack of vehicle maintenance can lead to the car falling into a dangerous state of disrepair. This can affect its roadworthiness and result in preventable car accidents. If an investigation finds that a vehicle owner was negligent in maintaining the car and that this caused or contributed to a crash, the owner can be held financially responsible.

Common Accidents Caused by Poor Vehicle Maintenance

A motor vehicle is a complex machine with a lot of moving parts. If even one component of a vehicle fails, it could lead to a total breakdown. Issues that occur with a motor vehicle can cause the driver to lose control of the car and crash into someone. Dangerous issues and situations connected to poor vehicle maintenance can include:

  • Tire blowouts
  • Vehicle rollovers
  • Hydroplaning on bald tires
  • Power steering failures
  • Engine failures
  • Brake failures
  • Rear-end collisions from broken taillights or brake lights
  • Intersection accidents from broken turn signals
  • Low-light accidents from broken headlights
  • Electrical malfunctions
  • Windshield wiper failures
  • Vehicles overheating
  • Car fires or explosions

Every part of a motor vehicle needs to be in proper working order and in good condition to operate correctly. Otherwise, the odds of a vehicle collision involving the car are increased due to potential equipment breakdowns and malfunctions. Proper vehicle maintenance can prevent collisions by keeping the car safe, reliable and roadworthy.

Examples of Basic Car Maintenance

The driver, vehicle owner or person in charge of vehicle maintenance (such as a trucking company for a commercial truck) must take steps to ensure that a vehicle is reasonably safe for the road. Examples of routine vehicle maintenance include: 

  • Checking tire pressure 
  • Inflating or deflating tires as necessary for different weather conditions
  • Replacing tires that have bubbles or worn tread
  • Replacing broken windshield wiper blades
  • Refilling windshield washer fluid
  • Checking fluid levels
  • Paying attention to the vehicle’s warning lights
  • Replacing worn, cracked or broken belts
  • Having brakes and brake pads periodically inspected by professionals

Failure to fulfill these basic vehicle maintenance requirements can create dangerous situations for even the most experienced driver. If poor vehicle maintenance causes a car accident, the responsible party will have to pay.

Can You Hold a Driver Responsible for a Lack of Car Maintenance?

Every motor vehicle driver has a responsibility to properly maintain his or her car. This involves inspecting the vehicle regularly, keeping up with recommended routine or preventative maintenance, taking the vehicle to a professional for repairs when needed, and not taking the vehicle out on the road if it is in need of upkeep. 

If a driver falls short of vehicle maintenance requirements or does not use reasonable care to ensure the safety of his or her motor vehicle, that driver can be held liable (legally and financially responsible) for a related car accident in Kentucky. This means a claim can be made against the at-fault driver’s automobile insurance policy if a victim suffers a serious injury.

In other cases, a negligent maintenance crew, repair shop, auto mechanic or vehicle part manufacturer may be held liable for an equipment breakdown. After a car accident is traced back to a part malfunction, an investigation can identify the responsible party. The individual or entity that did not exercise reasonable care may be made to pay for the medical bills, property losses and other expenses of victims. 

If you were recently injured in a car accident involving negligent vehicle maintenance, contact Hendy | Johnson | Vaughn | Emery for a free case review with a Louisville personal injury lawyer.

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