Drivers in Florida, as anywhere else, have a responsibility to keep their vehicle well-maintained. This means replacing the tires, fixing the brakes, ensuring that there are no electrical issues and so on. Unfortunately, many people forgo this responsibility, especially the owners of older vehicles.
A poorly maintained car could have defective equipment, which will only raise the risk for an accident. The Ohio Highway Patrol analyzed the defect-related crashes that arose in the state in the last three years and discovered that model year 1999-2008 vehicles were to blame for 56% of them. Model year 2009-2018 vehicles were behind 24% of the crashes.
The most common factors in these crashes were tire blowouts and brake failure. Ohio HP noted that blown tires contributed to 42% of fatal defect-related crashes. It seems that the number of defect-related crashes will only go up because, according to the Ohio Insurance Institute, the average age of vehicles in Ohio has increased from 9.6 years in 2002 to 11.8 years in 2020.
It makes sense that many drivers hold onto their older vehicles. A car can last for some 15 years and 300,000 miles, and not everyone has the income for a newer vehicle. Newer cars are often expensive to maintain due to the number of sensors and other electronics that they are equipped with.
Defect-related car accidents can form the basis for a personal injury claim, but it all depends on the degree of each driver’s negligence. Perhaps the owner of the defective vehicle could not have known about the defect or had insufficient time to repair the issue. This can affect the chances of a third-party insurance claim. Before that, victims need to find out if their losses cannot be covered by personal injury protection. A lawyer may help them through this whole process.