To have the best chances of staying out of a car accident, you need your vehicle to be in tip-top shape. A defective or poorly maintained auto part can spell disaster if it is one that is crucial to your vehicle’s safe operation. While you might be good about bringing in your vehicle for routine maintenance, there is still a chance that certain components have gone unchecked for a while.
Be sure that these four often-overlooked auto parts are in good condition:
- Brake fluid: Most people know to have their brake pads checked and replaced as needed. But the average driver will admit that they have not paid much mind to their car’s brake fluid, despite it being essential. Brake fluid allows the distribution of force and pressure in a braking system to be applied correctly, evenly, and predictably. Without it, your brakes will be ineffective and might fail altogether.
- Tires: Even though your vehicle’s tires literally keep it on the road, tires are usually not replaced until they must be replaced – and this is a problem. Smooth tires cannot grip the road, which will make your car much more likely to slide while rounding corners or when driving across a puddle. Damaged tires with tears or holes can also pop without warning, possibly causing the vehicle to spin out of control.
- Car axles: Have you recently driven over a high curb you didn’t notice until it was too late? Mistakes like that can mess up your vehicle’s axle alignment. While this issue is usually just an annoyance, it can become dangerous if the misalignment is severe enough to cause a vehicle to drift to one side while trying to drive in a straight line. Alignment issues can also lead to steering issues, which increase the risk of a car accident.
- Headlights: Lastly, you should consider the last time you had your headlights inspected or replaced. The last thing you want is to be driving late at night and one or both headlights go out due to old age or a defect. Headlight swaps are usually fairly easy to do yourself if you are familiar with automobile design. Of course, if you are not, then it is best to leave it up to a professional mechanic.
What Happens If an Auto Part Defect Causes a Crash?
As a car owner, the maintenance of your vehicle is your responsibility. However, you should not be held accountable for defects to the parts that go into your vehicle. If a manufacturer’s mistakes are the cause of your car accident, then you might be able to hold that auto part maker accountable for your damages.
Auto part lawsuits are not uncommon, either. You have probably heard about Firestone tires being recalled by the millions in the early 2000s due to an inordinately high risk of rupture and total failure while driving. Or the Takata airbag recall scandal that shocked the world a few years ago. The truth is that if you have been hurt due to a defective auto part that you are probably not alone, and you can likely take legal action in pursuit of fair compensation.