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Auto Accidents 101: How Vehicle Condition Affects Liability

Auto Accidents 101: How Vehicle Condition Affects Liability
Insurance agent writing on clipboard while examining car after accident claim being assessed and processed. Insurance man check for damage on side door car after accident. Transportation concept

We often think of car accidents as resulting from a driver’s negligence or poor weather conditions. But a car with problems is sometimes partly or completely to blame. Here are some things to monitor and update as needed on your vehicle to keep it safe and drivable wherever you go. 


An annual inspection and tune-up should be mandatory for vehicles more than a couple of years old. Having a mechanic check over the engine components as well as the fuel system to make needed repairs or adjustments can save you money by enabling the car to operate more efficiently. Fanbelts and other critical components can wear out suddenly and cause the vehicle to veer out of control. So, it is best to have the inside car parts looked at before they break without warning. A belt that snaps can send a car spinning out of control and possibly hitting other vehicles or pedestrians. 

Oil Changes 

Read the vehicle’s owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendations on how often oil changes are needed. Experts often suggest getting an oil change every three thousand to five thousand miles or so, but your manual may have a different recommendation. During the oil change, make sure the mechanic checks the tire pressure, fluid levels, and engine filters to replace anything that is wearing out or not fully doing its job. Without regular oil changes, your car could start to burn the last vestiges of oil and create a highway smoke hazard that might lead to an accident. 


The owner’s manual or information that came with the vehicle’s current set of tires can indicate when to replace the current tires. Legally, tire tread should be within a certain percentage of wear to be considered safe on the road. In some states, you can receive a traffic citation for driving on bald tires or those with low tread. If your tire blows out suddenly, you can lose control and crash into nearby cars or objects. 

Contact an Attorney 

A personal injury lawyer can explain your legal responsibilities and liabilities as a driver. You can find out about specific conditions for driving your vehicle on local and state roads. Contact an attorney who specializes in traffic law for additional information on protecting your car and yourself from a road accident. 

An old highway safety slogan advised drivers to look out for the other guy. But we need to take care of our cars and get up-to-date details on traffic laws to help prevent roadway collisions. 


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