While automobile safety has improved drastically over the years, vehicle defects still cause an alarming number of car accidents. The statistics from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) shed light on this issue, but that doesn’t let consumers know what to be aware of or what to do in the event of a crash.
Luckily, other data shows what defects are the most likely to cause accidents. This is a handy guide to help you identify these issues as well as inform you on what you can do when a defect caused your accident.
Common Car Defects
While manufacturers are required to meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and Regulations compliance standards, some things fall through the cracks. These oversights and mistakes can quickly lead to severe or even fatal accidents, leading to mass recalls by the NHTSA.
These recalls include full vehicles as well as car parts. The NHTSA uses these recalls to compile data on safety-related defects, helping to make manufacturers and consumers aware of the top issues. The most likely defects to cause an accident include:
- Stuck or broken accelerators
- Non-deploying airbags
- Electrical issues that lead to fired and malfunctioning lights
- Cracking and breaking wheels
- Broken steering components
- Fuel systems susceptible to leaks
- Improper windshield wiper assembly
- Failing seats and seatbelts
- Tires prone to splitting
Keep in mind that these components are not built broken, but in a way that makes them prone to malfunctions or damage. The NHTSA also includes any other component that could fall away from the vehicle or cause the driver to lose control of their car.
For defective parts, injuries fall under two main categories. In the first, something takes place that causes the driver to lose control of their vehicle. This could be failing steering, sudden airbag deployment, or a tire blowing.
For the second, any injury that was made worse by a defective part counts. This excludes the injuries of the crash itself under normal circumstances, moving into the realm of airbag or seatbelt failures and sections of the vehicle that collapse when they shouldn’t. In either case, you’re entitled to open up a personal injury claim.
Liability and Compensation
When an accident is the result of a car’s defect, the driver cannot be held accountable. Consumer law advocates have helped redefine this conundrum in cars as well as other products, placing the blame on the manufacturer and their mistake of creating defective parts in the first place.
Who is held liable depends on the circumstance of the accident. The car manufacturer, part manufacturer, or car dealer can be found liable. If you’re injured as a result of the wreck, you can also sue for compensation ranging from medical expenses to lost wages and pain and suffering.
Of course, manufacturers have extensive resources to fight these cases. You’ll need skilled representation, like the attorneys at Easton & Easton, to help you get the most out of your compensation case.