The majority of motor vehicle accidents that occur in Delaware are due to driver error or negligence. There are cases, however, where the fault lies with a defective vehicle. Whether new or used, cars and trucks can have faulty parts or design flaws that can lead to serious crashes.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requires car and truck manufacturers to recall vehicles that do not meet Federal safety standards. Since 1966, NHTSA has recalled over 390 million vehicles.
Seatbelts and airbags save lives, but they can fail to do so if defective. When a seatbelt’s latch or tension detector is not working, it can malfunction. Airbags can also be problematic. If they go off by mistake or too forcefully, they can cause bruises, burns, or temporary blindness. On the other hand, airbags could fail to go off at all when they should. Seatbelts and airbags should be checked regularly during routine maintenance.
Tires need to be checked for proper pressure, cracks and even wear; otherwise, blowouts can occur. However, if the tire was built with a flaw, either individually of as part of an entire lot, this defect can also result in an accident.
Some problems can be easily seen, such as with windshield wipers and lights. If the wipers are making noises and not clearing the windshield effectively, they should be replaced. Otherwise, visibility will be reduced in bad weather. Head and taillights need to work at their full capacity at all times. A defect in these systems could lead to decreased visibility, and as such result in an accident.
Defects in any of these parts of vehicles can either be the cause of an accident or unnecessary injury.
In some cases, a vehicle’s braking system may be defective. It is possible for the driver to realize this if the brakes are not responding correctly when the pedal is pushed, or if they are making sounds.
This is not always the case, though. Certain defects are undetectable. Steering components and fuel pumps can also fail while the vehicle is moving. A pump could make the engine sputter, causing the car to lose power during acceleration. Defective steering components or ignitions can also cause the driver to lose control, leading to a serious accident.
Recalls are helpful, but if a driver is unaware that one was issued for their vehicle, they may be unaware of the importance of addressing it. Manufacturers contact owners about recalls, but once a car has been sold, the new owner may not receive that notice. Also, an individual vehicle could have a defect that is specific to it alone.
Recalls are handled through manufacturers, NHTSA, and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Vehicle Safety Hotline. Callers can use their toll-free numbers to acquire up-to-date information.
The hotline is also used for reporting safety problems. If many calls are made about similar problems on the same model vehicle, it could lead the NHTSA to open an investigation, which on turn could lead to a broader recall.
Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Fight for Victims of Car Accidents
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident caused by a defective automobile, you may be entitled to compensation. To schedule a free consultation, contact a Delaware car accident lawyer at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC at 312-888-1221 or contact us online. We serve clients throughout Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.