It can be costly to maintain a vehicle, no matter its age, but drivers in California should be aware that the lack of maintenance can lead to defective equipment in a vehicle and raise the risk for a crash. This is something that the owners of older vehicles in particular need to keep in mind.
The Ohio Highway Patrol recently looked back on the past three years’ worth of defect-related car crashes in the state. Researchers found that 56% of the crashes were due to a vehicle made between 1999 and 2008 while 24% involved a model year 2009-2018 vehicle. The most common factors in these crashes were tire blowouts and brake failure. The former was especially deadly, causing 42% of fatal defect-related accidents.
According to the Ohio Insurance Institute, the average age of vehicles on the road has been increasing. While it was 9.6 years in 2002, it became 11.8 years in 2020. It’s understandable that more people would hold onto their older vehicles; newer vehicles cost a lot, and they come with all sorts of electronics that can be expensive to replace. On the other hand, the average car can last some 15 years and run for up to 300,000 miles. Still, it’s important for owners to repair any issues with their car right away despite the cost.
It’s an act of negligence to fail to replace the tires or brakes. When defect-related motor vehicle accidents are clearly the result of negligence, those who were injured through little or no fault of their own may have grounds for a personal injury case. This means filing a claim against the driver’s auto insurance company, which can be hard to do alone. Victims may want to hire a lawyer to help them gather evidence and negotiate for a settlement.