Drivers in Virginia who own a vehicle more than 10 years old should ensure that they are maintaining it on a regular basis. While maintenance is important for any vehicle, whatever its age, the neglect of it is more often seen among owners of older vehicles. Without maintenance, a car can develop defective equipment, which will only raise the chances of an accident.
The Ohio Highway Patrol found that 56% of defect-related crashes that occurred in their state in the last three years were caused by vehicles made between 1999 and 2008. On the other hand, vehicles with a model year between 2009 and 2018 accounted for 24% of the crashes. As for what were the most common defects that led to a crash, they were bad tires and brakes. Tire blowouts were behind 42% of fatal defect-related crashes.
Such crashes may only become more frequent as the average age of vehicles on the road goes up. In the case of Ohio, the average age is 11.8 years; it used to be 9.6 years in 2002. People are keeping their older vehicles for several reasons, one of them being the longevity of most cars. Another reason is that buying and maintaining a new car is costly. Still, drivers should not hesitate to fix whatever is wrong with their vehicle.
Drivers who cause car accidents because of a defective part in their vehicle may be accused of negligence. Of course, it must be shown that the defect was something one can reasonably become aware of and that the driver had enough time to address it while failing to do so. Victims who think they have a valid case may want a lawyer to evaluate it in light of Virginia’s strict rule of pure contributory negligence.