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Car Accident Prevention: Identifying Mechanical Problems

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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Car Accident Prevention: Identifying Mechanical Problems

Car accidents are the result of mechanical problems in 12% to 13% of all cases. Many times, the mechanical problem can be attributed to natural wear or a lack of proper vehicle maintenance, rather than poor design or manufacturing defects. Although mechanical problems are involved in only a small percentage of all auto accidents, they still represent a risk factor. So why take unnecessary chances? The risk of having an auto accident due to mechanical failure can be greatly reduced by taking better care of your car.

 

Different Types of Mechanical Problems that could lead to Car Accidents

Maintaining your vehicle means paying attention to the tires, brakes, steering and other safety systems to make sure your vehicle is safe to drive. Here are some problems you should watch for in order to prevent car accidents and vehicle break down:

    • Under-inflated tire

The TREAD Act, which requires Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems on all vehicles as of model year 2008, was initiated by a wave of vehicle rollovers which were due to under-inflated tires. The risk of a tire overheating and failing is greatly increased when a tire is under-inflated by more than 25%. Keeping tires properly inflated helps keep you and fellow motorists safe.

    • Worn down tire treads

If the tread on your tire is too worn down, there may not be enough tread left to provide safe traction in wet weather. If this is the case, when the tire hits a puddle on the road, there wouldn’t be enough depth in the grooves of tire left to handle the water. This can lead to hydroplaning, which many have experienced and know how dangerous it can be, as the tire is no longer in contact with the road. Hydroplaning can lead to a loss of control of your vehicle. If you are in this situation, when the vehicle slows and traction returns, gently tap the brake and reduce your speed. Check your tires frequently to evaluate the level of wear, and have a mechanic check them out and purchase new tires if wear is significant.

    • Extreme rust

Especially if you are living in the northern U.S. in a place like Chicago where there is a lot of snow, or if If you are driving an old car, you stand a chance that rust has been eating away at your car’s undercarriage. This can be dangerous, as there is a chance that the strut towers or other suspension points could break down and collapse. Keeping a close eye on the rust levels of your car’s undercarriage sensitive spots, like the strut towers, subframe and other suspension attachment points is key.

    • Worn brakes

The more you drive your vehicle and use your brakes, the more the brake pads wear. Eventually, they wear down to the point where they have to be replaced.

Symptoms of worn brakes include: metallic scraping noises when brakes are applied, a distinct pull to one side of the road when braking, a soft or spongy feel to brake application, an abnormally low brake pedal, or a pedal that will slowly sink to the floor when pressure is applied on the pedal.

Any of these mechanical problems are dangerous and can potentially lead to car accidents and vehicle break down, so neglecting your car care is ill advised.

In some situations, it may be possible to sue the vehicle or parts manufacturer, especially if the mechanical problem resulted in personal injury or death. However, you will have to show evidence that a defective part contributed to or caused the car accident.

It is best to consult a car accident attorney to discuss your options. Request a Free Case Evaluation today.

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