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Although the majority of car accidents are due to driver error, including things like speeding, following too closely, and running red lights/stop signs, a significant number of accidents are also due to car owners neglecting to maintain their vehicles. Modern vehicles are designed with a number of safety features and alerts to help drivers remember to perform routine maintenance and repairs, but when these warnings are ignored, serious accidents can occur due to the breakdown of critical components.
At Matt Hardin Law, our Tullahoma car accident attorneys know that a vehicle’s brakes, tires, lights, and mirrors are some of the most important safety features—not just for drivers and their passengers, but for all other motorists on the roadway as well.
In our practice, we’ve seen many car accidents caused by the failure of components like:
Tires are among the most important components on vehicles. Not only are they the only part of the vehicle that makes contact with the ground, but they also play huge roles in allowing drivers to safely steer, accelerate, and slow down. Drivers are responsible for making sure their tires are always properly inflated, secured tightly to their wheels, and replaced at regular intervals. Drivers who neglect to maintain and replace their tires can cause serious car accidents due to tire blowouts and other structural failures.
In addition to tires, brakes are a lifeline for drivers, as they allow them to stop or slow down their vehicles when approaching turns, stopped vehicles, or dangerous situations up ahead. Over time, brakes can lose their effectiveness, forcing drivers to anticipate longer and longer stopping times before eventually becoming completely ineffective at stopping the vehicle. That’s why it’s so important for drivers and car owners to immediately arrange for a mechanic to replace their brakes at the first sign of major wear and tear, as malfunctioning or worn-out brakes can lead to fatal accidents for both the driver and other motorists.
Headlights are essential for drivers who drive at night for two reasons: they allow drivers to see what’s in the road in front of them and they also make drivers’ vehicles visible to other motorists. Headlights are so important that driving with even a single headlight burnt out in Tennessee is a ticketable offense. In addition, brake lights and turn signals are also extremely important, as they alert other motorists to drivers’ intentions. Drivers are responsible for making sure their headlights, brake lights, and turn signals are at full brightness and replaced as soon as the bulbs begin to burn out.
Rear-view and side-mirrors are two quick and safe ways for drivers to survey traffic in the lanes directly behind and adjacent to their vehicles. Without these mirrors, drivers are forced to take their eyes off the road and turn their heads, which can be extremely dangerous if the vehicles in front of them suddenly brake or slow down. Any issues with mirrors should be fixed immediately by car owners, including missing, broken, or cloudy mirrors that limit visibility.
Owning a vehicle is a full-time responsibility and requires constant vigilance and upkeep to stay safe on the road. It’s important for drivers to learn basic mechanic skills and to always keep their cars in great condition to prevent the likelihood of any components failing while behind the wheel.
Every driver has a duty to make sure his or her vehicle is in good repair and safe to drive at all times. If you were injured by a driver who neglected to keep his vehicle in safe condition, you may be eligible to receive compensation. Contact our legal team today by dialing (615) 200-1111 or filling out a free online form.