Five Types of Mechanical Failures That Cause Car Accidents in the Charlotte Region

Car accidents can be caused by a variety of factors, and most car accidents are caused by distracted or drunk driving. However, mechanical failures cause some car accidents. A tire may blow out, causing a driver to swerve into another vehicle; or the brakes may fail, resulting in a multi-vehicle collision. When mechanical failures occur in a vehicle, they present a real danger to the driver and others on the road.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), mechanical failures contributed to over two million severe car accidents during a two-year period. In 40,000 of those cases, mechanical issues that could have been prevented with proper maintenance caused serious car accidents. The following are five of the most common mechanical issues listed as critical causes for devastating car accidents.

1. Tire Problems

Tire problems account for approximately 35% of car accidents caused by mechanical failure. Tire failure can be deadly, causing a vehicle to spin out of control and collide with other vehicles. Every year, 15,000 car accidents in the United States occur due to problems with a vehicle's tires. The consequences of tire failure can be disastrous. Cars may roll over, veer off the road, or swerve into oncoming traffic. When car accidents are caused by tire failure, the driver and his or her passengers may become injured, as well as pedestrians and occupants of other vehicles.

If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a defective tire, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against the driver or the distributor, manufacture, or retailer of the tire. Your personal injury lawyer will help you determine who might potentially be legally liable for your injuries. The most common causes of defective tire accidents include the following:

  • Manufacturing defect
  • Tread separation
  • Older tires that are worn but appear to be good
  • Inadequate repair of punctures
  • Retread failure
  • Tires that are unsuitable for the vehicle
  • Tires that become damaged while being mounted
2. Brake Problems

Brake problems account for about 22% of car accidents caused by mechanical failure. In some cases, the brake lines are faulty, or they become worn. When there are leaks within brake lines, they can allow brake fluid to drain, compromising the brakes’ performance. In other cases, the anti-lock brake systems are designed to automatically prevent wheels from locking up when drivers slam on the brakes may fail to work properly. ABS malfunction can result in complete brake failure. In other cases, worn brake pads and discs make it harder for the driver to stop the vehicle, causing longer stopping distances and increasing the risk of a car accident.

3. Steering Issues

Steering, suspension, transmission, and engine-related issues accounted for 3% of all car accidents caused by mechanical failure. Steering issues can be more difficult to document during the post-crash investigation. It is easy to spot worn brakes and tires, but it is more challenging to identify steering issues. Steering issues can cause a loss of control over a person's vehicle at the worst moments. For example, when someone is merging onto the freeway, and the steering wheel fails to work correctly, he or she could swerve into another car at high speeds, causing a deadly accident.

4. Engine and Transmission Problems

Engine failure is rare, but it can cause a severe car accident. When an engine fails in the middle of the road, there is always the potential for a car accident. A lack of oil in a vehicle can cause engine failure and require expensive repairs. Without enough oil, the metal parts of the engine can scrape together, causing overheating and friction. In other cases, the engine itself is defective, and the victim can sue the car manufacturer, distributor, or retailer.

5. Headlight or Taillight Issues

Broken headlights and taillights are especially dangerous during foggy weather conditions, storms, and at nighttime. Without headlights and taillights working properly, drivers cannot see the road or other drivers, increasing the car accident risk.

Contact a Charlotte Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you or your loved one has become injured in a Charlotte area car accident, we recommend speaking to an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Depending on the cause of your accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. You may be able to recover past and future medical expenses, past and future lost income and compensation for your pain and suffering. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today to schedule your free initial consultation to learn how we will advocate for your right to compensation.

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