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NHTSA Reports Mechanical Failures Can Cause Accidents

October 23, 2017 | Category: Defective Products, Unsafe Vehicles | Share

When a motorist loses vehicle control as the result of mechanical failure, it can be devastating and cause injuries, even death. Mechanical failures, according to US News, are a factor in 12 to 13 percent of all auto accidents. The mechanical failure may be internal or external. It may be caused by vehicle driver negligence, normal wear and tear, and/or a faulty part. 

The National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey conducted by NHTSA (National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration) found that 44,000 motor vehicle crashes surveyed, were due to mechanical failures and other vehicle related problems. 

  • Tires/wheels-related - 35 percent
  • Brakes-related - 22 percent
  • Steering/suspension/transmission/engine-related - 3 percent
  • Other/unknown vehicle-related problems - 40 percent 

According to Mike’, maintaining a car properly can reduce the chances of getting into a crash. Here are 5 major things motorists can do on any car that can fail and cause an accident. 

1) Brakes: Brakes are the most common part of the car that fails and that can cause accidents. As time goes on, brake pads continually wear down. Many drivers do not have their brakes fixed soon enough, causing their brakes to ultimately fail. Being unable to stop is very dangerous, and it can be almost impossible to avoid an accident when this occurs. In addition, ABS brake systems can occasionally fail, and that is why rear end accidents are usually caused.

2) Tires: Another part of the car that needs to be properly maintained is the tires. If they become worn down, they can blow out, and that can lead to losing the control of the car and having an accident. The tread of the tires is important to keeping traction on the road and if they are worn down too much, it can be dangerous.

3) Steering: Steering issues are also the cause of many accidents. Steering is normally a complex system in any vehicle, and there are many parts and components within the steering system that can malfunction. These parts also become worn down over time, and this can lead to the entire steering system failing. When there is no control over the steering of your car, that is when dangerous accidents can occur.

4) Headlights: Headlights and tail lights are important to be able to see well enough to avoid an accident. Many accidents happen at night and in some cases, faulty headlights are the cause. Even if the lights are dim, it can be hard to see brake lights or turn signals. That can end up being very dangerous, and make it hard to see a car on the road. Frequently check up on the functionality of all of your lights to avoid having an accident due to lights that are malfunctioning.

5) Wipers: Wipers that are not working correctly can cause accidents as well. Many people let these go too long without replacing them, and that is when the problems arise. In some cases, the motors controlling the wipers can simply malfunction, and that can keep the wipers from moving. If you cannot see the road, you are not in control and changing wiper blades is an easy task. In some cases, you can actually do it yourself, thereby saving money and time. 

Maintenance is only one side of the story. Maintenance using the best quality products is another side.  When checking for wear and tear and having your car inspected if you suspect a problem is essential, but there are accidents caused by faulty service by a mechanic from a garage or dealer or from defectively manufactured or designed parts. Some of these include: 

  • Tire manufacturing defects - Tread separation, cracking or bulging are all signs of a manufacturing defect, as are leaks and belt failures. 
  • Faulty brakes - Brake failure is a factor in numerous accidents with legal issues having arisen over antilock braking systems failing to work. Other issues concern brake pads that heat up and fade, and brake fluids with too low of a boiling point. 
  • Defective steering mechanisms - Steering defects can cause loss of control of a vehicle. This may happen from a steering ball joint that fails, or an improperly assembled steering wheel that can detach from the column or vibrate and lock up, according to 

“If you or a loved one has been injured in a vehicle accident, please contact our experienced team of attorneys at Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.,” said Fort Myers Defective Products Attorney, Randall Spivey. 



Fort Myers Defective Products Attorney, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just 1 percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at  239. 337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839, or by email to  Visit  for more information. You can contact

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