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A Lesser-Known Cause of Car Accidents

  Norman Taylor & Associates
  May 1, 2020

When it comes to car accidents, one of the most common causes is none other than driver negligence and there’s no way around it. Even though they’re called “accidents,” in reality the vast majority of auto accidents are preventable.

As far as driver negligence is concerned, driver behaviors are what cause most car accidents, such as:

  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Fatigued driving
  • Driver inattention
  • Driving under the influence

Inexperience and Night Driving

Two other factors lead to car accidents and they can be significant: driver inexperience and night driving. Many people don’t realize it, but lack of experience behind the wheel and impaired night vision (for drivers of all ages) both play a role in the number of accidents on our nation’s roads.

Clearly, the more experience a driver has, the better they are at driving. This is why car insurance is so expensive for drivers under the age of 25; auto insurance companies know that young drivers (and elderly drivers) are at the highest risk of getting into a crash.

Night driving is a concern as well. “Shorter days, fatigue, compromised night vision, rush hour and impaired drivers are some of the risks we face when driving at night,” according to the National Safety Council (NSC).

Motor Vehicle Defects

The dangers of driver negligence and night driving are well-recognized, but there’s another, more insidious cause of crashes that drivers are less aware of – motor vehicle defects. The question is, would you know what to do if your vehicle was defective?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2017, 24,973 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents in the United States, and another 2,524,000 were injured.

“In addition to staggering emotional costs, the annual economic loss to society because of these crashes, in terms of worker productivity, medical costs, insurance costs, etc., is estimated at more than $230 billion.”

Clearly, there is a need for dramatic improvement in motor vehicle safety. Getting unsafe vehicles off the road is integral to improving safety and saving lives, according to the NHTSA.

Vehicle Safety Standards

In 1966, the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act (now recodified as 49 U.S.C. Chapter 301), gave the NHTSA the authority to develop vehicle safety standards. Under the Act, if an auto manufacturer didn’t uphold to these standards, the NHTSA could require that manufacturers recall any vehicles with safety-related defects, and the NHTSA has done just that.

Since 1966, nearly 400 million cars, trucks, SUVs, RVs, motorcycles, etc. have been recalled for safety defects.

Examples of Vehicle Safety Defects

Could your car have a defect that increases your crash risk?

Here are some examples of safety-related defects:

  • Steering problems
  • Issues with fuel system components
  • Accelerator controls that stick or break
  • Wheels that break and cause loss of steering control
  • Defective airbags that deploy under the wrong conditions
  • Wiring problems that cause a fire
  • Seats that fail unexpectedly while being used normally

Not all car accidents are caused by driver negligence or error. Some of them are the direct result of a manufacturer’s defect. If you suspect that your vehicle is defective, your safety could be at risk and you may have a lemon on your hands.

To explore filing a lemon law claim, contact Norman Taylor & Associates at (818) 244-3905.

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