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As you get into your car, your mind might be preoccupied. “What am I eating for dinner?” “What will I watch tonight?” “I need to hurry and make this appointment.” We might not even be thinking about the car we are driving. We rely on our cars to safely transport us from point A to point B. But a mechanical malfunction can have devastating consequences. The following mechanical malfunctions are the most common that lead to accidents, reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
Tires must survive constant bumps in the road, discarded sharp objects, and potholes while being able to support your car traveling long distances. However, when your car’s tires give out from a blowout or worn tread, the driver can lose control of his or her vehicle very quickly, resulting in a major accident. Worn tread on a tire can lead to skidding or less traction on the road, which is extremely hazardous when road conditions are poor due to ice or rain.
Preventive Maintenance to Avoid Tire Failure
Accidents happen, but taking care of your tires is the best way to ensure your chances of ever encountering a blowout due to tire failure are slim to none. Before getting into your vehicle and driving to your destination, check your tires. Look for signs of wear. If you can see your tread or the tire is completely smooth, it is time for a tire replacement. Also, keep an eye on your tire’s air pressure. If it is low, refill it. Check your vehicle owner’s manual or talk to a licensed mechanic to find out your tire’s optimal air pressure.
Over time, wear and tear on your brakes can cause them to work ineffectively, which increases the stopping distance. If left completely untreated, your brakes could completely fail.
Preventive Maintenance to Avoid Brake Malfunction
As you drive, listen, and pay attention to little changes in your car. Squeaking and grinding brakes are an indication of wear and tear or a problem within the braking system. Take your car to a trusted mechanic. Ignoring these sounds can lead to brake failure, which will leave you with little to no control over your car. And, don’t forget to check the brake fluid levels.
Modern power steering allows drivers to easily control their vehicles without too much effort. However, when a driver finds it difficult to steer or the car pulls in a direction, there could be an underlying problem.
Preventive Maintenance for Steering Issues
Evaluate the amount of effort it takes to drive your car in a straight line and to get it to turn. Pulling or a stiff steering wheel could signal low steering wheel fluid, poor alignment, or an issue with the steering wheel itself. A licensed vehicle mechanic can help you determine and solve the issue.
Transmission and Engine Failure
Problems with the transmission or engine of a vehicle are pretty recognizable. Not only does the engine light come on, but there will also be strange sounds and smells associated with it. Transmission and engine trouble can lead to problems such as slow acceleration, hesitation when asking your car to go faster, or even a complete breakdown.
Preventive Maintenance to Avoid Transmission and Engine Failure
Check your oil and transmission fluid regularly to ensure that they are at their optimal levels. If you notice unusual sounds, smells, or changes in your car’s responsiveness, alert your mechanic right away. They will inspect your vehicle and find the source of the problem. Failure to do so increases the risk of engine failure and an accident.
Car suspensions increase the friction between the road and the tires. This gives more comfort to the driver, the passengers, and increases the driver’s control over the steering. Problems with the vehicle’s suspension can occur due to constant abuse from the road. Here are the most common causes of poor car suspension:
- Poor Wheel Alignment: Poor wheel alignment can put increased strain on the tires and result in uneven wear, which can result in your car drifting to one side.
- Shock Absorbers: Worn out shock absorbers will leave the occupants of a vehicle feeling every bump, and the car might shake on bumpy roads.
- Struts: Larger vehicles may have struts instead of shock absorbers. Signs of a strut problem include a hard-knocking sound when going over a bump.
- Springs: Springs support the weight of the car, ensuring that your car can easily handle the bumps in the road without bottoming out. As the car’s springs suffer normal wear and tear, they can sag or completely break.
- Preventive Measures to Protect Your Car’s Suspension
Visually inspect your car before driving it. Look for signs that your car is sagging or leaning more to one side. Have shock absorbers, struts, and springs replaced when worn or damaged, and make sure to take your car in to get checked if you hear any strange noises.
Additional Maintenance Tips
When you drive your vehicle, ensure that the headlights, tail lights, hazards, and brake lights are working properly and can be easily seen.
Check your turn signals, and replace broken bulbs. Keep your windshield clean, replace your windshield wipers regularly, and make sure it is full of fluid to keep dirt and dust at bay.
What if I Am in an Accident Due to a Mechanical Malfunction?
Accidents from mechanical malfunctions can be difficult to navigate. Whether a lack of maintenance by the at-fault driver or a faulty part from the manufacturer, the dedicated team at the Hernandez Law Group, P.C. can help you claim the compensation you deserve. Our team is full of knowledgeable attorneys who are at the top of their field. Our team offers a no-win, no-fee contract, protecting you and your family from the risk that is often involved in seeking compensation. Contact our team for more information and find out why DFW turns to the Hernandez Law Group, P.C. after an accident. We will fight for you!