Are you quick to get needed car repairs or do you tend to put them off? The majority of people say they maintain their car and get repairs right away, but the reality is not so rosy. Over 90% of car owners admit they’ve put off maintenance or repairs longer than they should. For most, the delays were less than a week, but some drivers admit to delaying essential maintenance or repairs for 30 days or more. Unfortunately, this behavior makes you more likely to have a car accident and puts other drivers at risk.
Procrastinating when it comes to car maintenance can be dangerous and even fatal. In 2019, there were 6,756,000 car crashes in the United States, with 1,916,000 of these accidents resulting in injuries, and 33,244 causing fatalities. according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Two percent of these motor vehicle accidents are typically caused by vehicle failure or degradation, mostly tire or brake failures. That works out to 38,320 injuries and 664 deaths related to vehicle failure a year. The majority of these are caused by drivers failing to maintain or repair their cars so they are in proper working order.
Drivers may hold off on repairs because they don’t feel they have enough time or money to replace their old tires or get the brake pads changed. But even minor issues can affect a driver’s ability to stay safe on the road. Failing to address the following maintenance and repair issues can lead to a car crash.
- Bald, worn-out, or under-inflated tires: Driving on bald, worn-out, or under-inflated tires can be dangerous for several reasons. First of all, you can experience a tire blowout when bald, worn-out tires suddenly burst under pressure. Blowouts can also be caused by under-inflated tires because more of the tire’s surface comes in contact with the road, leading to overheating and tread separation. A sudden blowout on the road can cause a driver to lose control of his car, which is especially dangerous if he’s driving at high speeds on a highway. This can cause serious and even fatal accidents. Unfortunately, tire blowouts accidents are more common than you think. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 738 motor vehicle fatalities in 2017 due to tire-related crashes. In addition to blowouts, worn tires are also more likely to slip, take more distance to brake, and aren’t as responsive because they have less traction on the road. This can be a major problem if it causes your car to hydroplane—or slide uncontrollably– in snowy, rainy, or icy conditions. Losing control of the car due to hydroplaning is a major factor in bad weather accidents.
- Bad brakes: Bad brakes are a major cause of rear-end collisions, where the inability to stop quickly enough causes a car to crash into the vehicle ahead. The NHSTA reports that brakes are responsible for 22% of car accidents that are attributed to vehicle failure. There are several reasons why your brakes may not work:
- Faulty or worn brake lines can leak allowing your brake fluid to become depleted and compromising the performance of your brakes.
- The Antilock Brake System (ABS) can malfunction which can cause your wheels to lock up, resulting in a loss of control.
- Worn brake pads and discs make your car harder to stop, necessitating longer stopping distances and putting you at risk for rear-end accidents. If you hear your brakes squeaking, it is critical to get them checked and replace any worn-out pads or discs. Brake pads only last about 30,000 miles.
- Misaligned wheels can make steering difficult, especially at higher speeds. When wheels aren’t properly aligned, tires can wear unevenly. This can lead to your steering wheel pulling to one direction or another, which can be very dangerous, especially in the rain.
- Cracked windshields: Cracks and spidery fractures that have expanded after being ignored can limit visibility and contribute to an auto accident. Moreover, cracks in the windshield hurt the structural integrity of your car and its ability to protect passengers. The windshield is designed to reinforce the car’s frame, absorb some of the impacts of a crash, and prevent the roof or windshield from collapsing.
- Burned-out headlights or lack of windshield wiper fluid can impact visibility. Simply checking your headlights and wiper fluid could help prevent some of the 38,700 vehicle crashes, 16,300 injuries, and 600 deaths that are attributed to low visibility each year.
Maintaining your car is a matter of safety. It is so much more important than just keeping your car in good working order so that it lasts longer. It could save your life or the life of a loved one.
If you have been injured in an auto accident caused by another driver’s failure to maintain their car, you may be able to get compensation from the neglectful driver. Contact the experienced car accident attorneys at The Collins Law Firm to see if you can successfully sue the driver who was careless about their vehicle’s condition. Call us at (630) 527-1595 or fill out our contact form for a free evaluation of your car accident case today.
For more information about how our car accident lawyers can help you, click this link: https://www.collinslaw.com/car-accident-lawyers.html