Car Accidents Due to Mechanical Problems
Drivers face many risks behind the wheel, and car accidents are common.
While drivers are often quick to blame themselves for accidents, mechanical failure is still a leading cause of auto accidents. Mechanical failure car accidents make up about 13% of all collisions.
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys understand that no one wants to think about being in an accident, but it's important to have a plan in case something goes wrong. We're here to help you get back on your feet after an accident, and we won't rest until you receive the compensation you deserve.
Contact our Chicago car accident law firm today for a free consultation, and let us help you get on the road to recovery.
Most car accidents are often due to driver error; mechanical failure is still a leading cause of accidents. By understanding car accident risk, drivers can take steps to reduce their chances of being in an accident.
National Statistics for Accidents Due to Mechanical Failures
Mechanical failures are a leading cause of car accidents, and they can often result in devastating injuries or fatalities.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 25,000 accidents were caused by mechanical problems in 2019. These accidents resulted in more than 35,000 injuries and over 2,000 fatalities.
The Department of Transportation recently completed a study of car accidents caused by mechanical problems. The study found that:
- Approximately 13% of all collisions are caused by mechanical failure
- Most accidents due to mechanical problems occur on rural roads
- Nearly 60% of all accidents due to mechanical problems involve SUVs or pickups
- The most common type of mechanical failure that leads to an accident is a failure of the brakes
- The most common cause of accidents due to mechanical problems is a broken axle
- The majority of accidents due to mechanical problems occur within 5 miles of the driver's home
According to government records, automobile accidents caused by mechanical failure are on the rise. Therefore, it is important to understand the most common causes of these accidents to reduce your chances of having an accident.
Mechanical Failures That Cause Car Accidents
There are many reasons why car accidents may occur, but one of the most common. When a car has faulty mechanical components such as bad brakes, faulty wiper blades, bad tires, etc., it can result in an accident.
Here are some of the top mechanical failures that can cause auto accidents:
Faulty Brakes / Worn Brakes
One of the most important safety features of a car is the brake system. When the brakes are not working properly, it can cause brake failure and accidents.
Worn brake pads, leak in the brake lines, or malfunctioning antilock brake systems can all cause a car to stop abruptly or not at all, leading to a collision with the vehicle in front of you or rear-end collisions.
To avoid brake failure, make sure to have your brakes inspected regularly and replace the brake pads when they are worn.
If you notice that your brake is failing due to the normal wear and tear of brake pads, take your car to a mechanic right away for inspection and repair. Do not forget to check your brake fluid regularly too.
Malfunctioning Steering and Windshield Wipers
The steering system directs the car while it’s in motion. If the steering is not working properly, it can be hazardous and lead to an accident.
Windshield wipers are also essential to be running at high speed to keep the driver's visibility clear in inclement weather conditions. If the windshield wipers are not working correctly, it can be difficult to see out of the windshield, leading to an accident.
Tread separation and defective tires are leading causes of car accidents. Some of the common types of tire problems are; tread separation, tire blowouts, an over-inflated tire, flat or blown tires. These problems affect the tire grip and lead to severe mechanical failure accidents.
Tire blowouts are also a common problem with defective tires. If a tire blows out, it may lead to the driver losing control of the car and being thrown into oncoming traffic or off the road.
If your tires were punctured due to debris in the road or severe temperature changes, take them to a tire shop for a replacement, and remember to check the air pressure regularly.
Steering and Suspension Problems
The suspension system is responsible for keeping the car’s wheels in contact with the ground. If the suspension and the steering linkage are faulty, it can cause the vehicle to lose control and lead to an accident.
If you think your car has steering and suspension issues, take it to a mechanic to check if the suspension is broken and inspect the steering linkage.
Bad Headlights / Taillights
Having a high-visibility vehicle is critical when it's dark, foggy, or stormy out. If your car's headlights or taillights are not working, you could get into an accident.
If your headlights or brake lights are not working, take your car to a mechanic to have them fixed.
Engines in automobiles are expected to run with minimal upkeep. However, some issues can arise, resulting in a broken-down car and uncertainty about what caused the engine failure.
If you are experiencing engine problems, take your car to a mechanic for inspection and repair.
The bottom line is that any number of car problems can lead to an accident. If you are experiencing issues with your car, it is important to have them fixed as soon as possible.
By doing so, you can help ensure your safety and the safety of others on the road. A combination of steering, suspension, transmission, and engine-related problems is the third major factor in an accident.
This combination category accounted for only 3% of the car accidents cited in the NHTSA report. These combined factors are rarely cited as critical issues in many research reports.
Avoiding Mechanical Failures With a Few Simple Hints
In addition to having your car fixed when there are any mechanical problems, there are some basic things you can do to help prevent those problems from occurring in the first place:
One of the best ways to avoid mechanical issues is by performing regular maintenance on your car. This maintenance includes changing the oil, checking for worn tires, and checking the brakes.
If you don’t have the time or knowledge to do this yourself, take your car to a mechanic for normal routine maintenance.
Avoid Overloading Your Car
When you overload your car, you put extra stress on the mechanical components, leading to possible breakdown or malfunctioning of the vehicle.
Try not to overload your car, and if you have to, make sure to distribute the weight evenly.
Avoid Aggressive and Distracted Driving
Try to avoid aggressive driving, and if you get angry behind the wheel, take a break. However, distracted driving can also be dangerous and lead to an accident. If you are distracted while driving, pull over until you can focus on the road.
By following these tips, you can help avoid mechanical failures and keep your car safe on the road.
Additional Tips for Safe Driving
In addition to keeping your car in good mechanical condition, there are other things you can do to stay safe while driving:
Wear Your Seat Belt
Aside from belt failures, one should go without saying that you should always wear your seat belt when driving. It could save your life in the event of a crash.
Don’t Drive When Drunk or High
Impaired driving is not only illegal, but it can also be very dangerous. If you are drunk or high, do not get behind the wheel. Being drunk or high can lead to falling asleep behind the wheel, losing control, and accidents.
Follow the Rules of the Road
Ensure you obey all the traffic rules, including following the speed limit, using your turn signal, and not texting while driving.
By following these tips, you can help keep yourself and other drivers safe on the road.
Causes of Action in a Mechanical Failure Case
When a mechanical failure causes a motor vehicle accident, certain causes of action may be available to the victim. These can include:
- Negligence: If the mechanical failure was due to negligence from the manufacturer or other drivers involved in maintaining or repairing the vehicle, the victim might be able to sue for damages.
- Product Liability: If the accident was caused by a defective part or design, the victim might be able to sue the car manufacturer for medical claims and damages.
- Breach of Warranty: If the accident was due to a breach of warranty on the part of the manufacturer or another party involved in maintaining or repairing the vehicle, the victim might be able to sue for damages.
- Strict Liability: If the accident was due to a manufacturing defect, the victim might sue under a theory of strict liability.
- Negligent Maintenance: If the accident was caused by improper maintenance on the part of the manufacturer or another party involved in maintaining or repairing the vehicle, the victim might be able to sue for damages.
- Intentional Torts: If the accident was caused by someone intentionally tampering with the vehicle, the victim might be able to sue for damages.
- Unsafe Road Conditions: If the accident was due to hazardous road conditions, the victim may sue the government or other party responsible for maintaining the road.
These causes of action may have different requirements, so it is important to speak with a car accident lawyer to determine if you have a case.
Damages in a Mechanical Failure Case
If you are successful in a lawsuit for a car accident caused by a mechanical failure, you may be able to recover damages for:
- Medical expenses:Expenses incurred due to the accident include ambulance fees, hospital bills, surgery costs for injuries, doctor's visits, and future medical costs.
- Lost Wages: If you were unable to work due to the accident, you might be able to recover damages for lost wages.
- Pain and Suffering: You may be able to recover damages for the pain and suffering you experienced as a result of the accident. Make sure you identify post-crash symptoms and document everything.
- Emotional Distress: If you experienced emotional distress due to the accident, you might be able to recover damages.
- Permanent Injuries: If you suffered permanent injuries due to the accident, you might be able to recover damages.
- Death: If someone died due to the accident, the victim's family might be able to recover damages.
Each case is different, so it is important to speak with a car accident lawyer to determine what damages you may be able to recover.
Determining the At-Fault Party for a Mechanical Failure Case
It can be difficult to determine the at-fault party in auto accidents caused by a mechanical failure. The at-fault party may include:
Driver / Car Owner
When accidents occur due to mechanical fault, the driver/car owner can be held liable. For example, the driver may be at fault for not properly maintaining the car or for not taking it in for repairs when necessary.
Maintenance / Mechanic / Car Repair Shop
A mechanic or car repair shop might be liable if they failed to properly maintain or repair the car, which resulted in the accident.
A defective part or design on the car may cause an accident. In these cases, the manufacturer may be liable for damages.
Filing a Claim for an Automobile Accident Involving a Mechanical Problem
Injured victims of an automobile accident caused by a mechanical problem may have grounds to file a claim against the vehicle's manufacturer. To prove liability, the victim would need to show that the manufacturing defect was the direct and proximate cause of the accident.
However, filing a claim against the manufacturer may be more difficult than filing a claim with an insurance company. Manufacturers typically have large legal teams prepared to defend themselves against product liability lawsuits.
If a mechanic acted negligently, for example, by failing to fix the car properly, the victim might also have a claim against the mechanic. Unfortunately, many people are unaware that mechanics can be held liable for damages caused by their negligence.
Remember to include as much information as possible when filing a claim for an automobile accident, including the date and time of the accident, the names and contact information of any witnesses, and the other driver's insurance information.
It is also helpful to take pictures of the accident scene and the damage to the car. Finally, consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer to get help filing a claim against the manufacturer of your vehicle.
Contacting a Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Case
If you have been injured in an automobile accident, it is important to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer can help you file a claim against the other driver's insurance company and may be able to help you file a claim against the manufacturer of the car.
The lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers are experienced in handling car accident cases involving mechanical issues. We offer a free consultation to discuss your case, and we do not charge any fees unless we recover money for you.
To schedule a free consultation, call us at (888) 424-5757 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.