The invention of the automobile has revolutionized the lives of Americans, including those in Illinois. Distances once too far to travel can now be conquered in a day.
With relatively simple functioning parts, the automobile is a tool that enables us to live our lives to the fullest. Yet at times, a car can also become a destructive force that leads to injuries.
Most car accidents can be attributed to the fault of one or more drivers. However, there are estimates that about 2 percent of all accidents are due to mechanical failure, according to the NHTSA.
Automobile manufacturers are required by law to produce safe cars for the consumer to purchase. When even one part is faulty or poorly designed, an accident can result and can place the lives of many in danger. After an accident, investigators often review a vehicle to determine what caused the crash. In the case of a mechanical failure, the fault may lie with:
- The original manufacturer of a vehicle
- A maker of a part that goes to a vehicle manufacturer
- A repairman who services the car at a later date
Sometimes, anyone involved with the building or sale of the car can be liable. While the automobile is a simple functioning machine, its component parts are complicated and can lead to numerous failures, many of which are mechanical.
What Are Some Common Mechanical Failures in Motor Vehicles?
Some common mechanical failures are:
Power Failure/Airbag Failure
Several popular models of vehicles have problems with power failures or power shutoffs. These in turn can lead to a situation where a driver cannot control a vehicle, causing a collision. And when the power is off, airbags may not deploy in affected models. The failure of power and subsequent airbag can:
- Cause a collision
- Make injuries more severe
- Or even lead to the death of those in a crash
With thousands of parts in a standard vehicle, a mechanical failure can start in any system within the car. It can be due to:
- Faulty manufacturing
- Faulty maintenance
- Improper installation
Regardless of what part causes a crash, generally it is not the driver’s fault. It is not the driver’s negligence that leads to a collision. Usually it is the fault of the company that made, sold, or installed the part, depending on the specific facts of each accident.
Power steering has been common for several decades. It is so prevalent that many young drivers have never driven a car without it.
Prior to the use of power steering, a driver had to manually turn the wheel. You would have to exert a significant amount of force to make the wheel turn. Since the invention of power steering, a driver must make only a small effort to turn the wheel in any direction.
When there is a power steering failure, though, a car becomes even harder to steer than those without power steering. For some drivers, it is impossible to steer the car at all.
A power steering failure can be sudden and can happen while the car is in motion. This significantly increases the risk of an accident and makes it more likely that the driver will not be able to adequately maintain control over the vehicle.
Tire Blowout or Failure
Tires are a part of a car that do not get as much attention as they deserve. Tires have a direct effect on the safe movement of a vehicle. Defects in the design or manufacture of a tire often lead to blowouts, or rapid deflation of a tire.
When traveling at a high rate of speed, a tire blowout is extremely dangerous. It can easily cause a driver to lose control of a vehicle, sending it into oncoming traffic, off the road, or rolling over.
Tire blowouts and defects have received a lot of coverage by the news media in the past 20 years. There has been an increase in awareness about the dangers associated with some tires. Despite this, some tires continue to be manufactured in a defective manner and accidents continue to result.
Like many parts of a car, brakes need maintenance and replacement periodically. This includes the brake pads, shoes, and fluid. The more you drive a car, the more the brakes begin to wear and the more often they will require maintenance.
Some drivers like to “ride the brakes”. This is where a driver simultaneously uses a brake and gas pedal. The car accelerates in these cases, but not as quickly as normal. Further, the brake undergoes extreme wear and stress.
When brake components are improperly manufactured, repaired, or maintained, an accident and injuries are likely to result.
To many drivers, a defroster on a front or rear windshield may seem like a luxury item and not a safety device. Yet when a defroster does not work, the windshields may get foggy or icy and may decrease visibility.
If a driver knows of a broken defroster before beginning to drive, a windshield can be scraped clear to allow for optimal visibility. Still, though, there is the possibility of fog forming on the glass as the car travels. This might not be removable while the car is in motion. If ice or fog obscures visibility, a driver is much more likely to be involved in an accident.
Sliding Floor Mats
Most floor mats today have a rubber undersurface designed to keep them in place. This prevents them from moving across the floor.
Some older cars, though, do not have this safety feature. The floor mats can move from side to side and front to back beneath a driver’s feet. It is possible that a floor mat might slide on top of the accelerator or brake. This could cause a vehicle to speed up or prevent a driver from stopping the car.
When this happens, if a driver is unable to gain control of the car, an accident may result. This may cause injuries to the driver, passengers, or even those in other vehicles.
Contact a Chicago Mechanical Failure Accident Lawyer
The personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. have many years of experience representing the victims of automobile accidents. With our experience and dedication to quality service, we fight for each client’s rights and for a fair recovery in each case. We make it our business to help victims and we are standing by now to help you as well.
If a mechanical failure has caused a car accident in Chicago and you sustain injuries, you may have a case. This, if you were either a driver, a passenger, a cyclist, or a pedestrian.
The laws in Illinois may enable you to recover financial compensation for your damages. This would include any medical and emergency room bills, lost wages while you were unable to work, or pain and suffering.
The available relief in your case may vary depending on the facts of your crash. Call Abels & Annes, P.C. and let us help you understand your rights and your options.
We can be reached at (312) 924-7575. Our mechanical failure crash attorneys in Chicago provide all accident victims with a free case consultation. There is no obligation on your part for speaking with us.
If you are the victim of a mechanical failure accident, contact us online or call us at (855) LAW-CHICAGO.