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Causes of car accidents - Mechanical failure and vehicle defects

Around 10% of car accidents on the motorway are a result of mechanical faults and vehicle defects. Such defects with your car may include a tyre blow-out, brake failure and steering mechanism failure. These could result from a manufacturing fault, negligence by a garage worker or just general wear and tear. Read an overview of car accidents.

Steering mechanism failure

It is possible for your steering lock to become jammed which can not only cause you to turn red in the face but could potentially cause a car accident.

To resolve minor steering lock you could try turning your wheel gently from side to side or in more serious situations roll the car forward about one metre to ease the pressure on the wheel.

Actual steering failure is quite rare but would be very dangerous if it occurred while travelling on a busy road. The most common cause of steering failure is loss of power steering. Power steering could be lost gradually if a hydraulic pipe is damaged, although the increasing heaviness of steering should provide plenty of warning.

Another not so frequent cause is a defect in the mechanical steering linkage. If this occurs you should stop as soon as possible and, as you are likely to loose directional control, it may be best to slow down and then skid to a halt if safe to do so.

If steering failure does occur you should try to remain calm and try to regain control of your car quickly to avoid causing a car accident.

Tyres

Many car accidents are caused as a result of defects with tyres. Tyres that are either inflated too much or too little could cause a tyre-blow out. A tyre blow-out is where your car tyre punctures and effectively explodes. This will cause your car to unbalance and swerve off course. It takes extremely quick reactions to avoid a collision with either a vehicle or other object, such as a tree, if a tyre blow-out occurs.

Your tyres are also designed to grip to the road so having good tyre-tread is essential especially in wet conditions. Read more about car accidents and road conditions.

Vast volumes of water on the road's surface have to be squeezed out by the tread grooves when it is raining. For example, when travelling at 60mph and the water depth on the road is just 3mm, the tyre has to clear more than 2 gallons of water per second. If this water is not rapidly dispersed a sheet of water may build up between the tyre and the road, causing the car to lose contact with the surface of the road and is forced to aquaplane.

The ability to disperse water is dramatically reduced when tyres are worn and statistics show that almost half of all car accidents are caused when a car skids. However, other factors such as driver impairment are just as likely to cause accidents. Read more about car accidents and driver impairment.

By law your tyres are required to have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm in a continuous band around the centre three quarters of the tyre. Once your tyre tread reaches around 2mm it is advisable to start thinking about replacing them in order to avoid the risk of causing a car accident. Read more about car accidents and the law.

Brake failure

It is vital to make sure that your brakes are always working efficiently. There are many defects that concern your brakes including worn brake pads, leaking brake fluid and mechanism failure.

The state of your brake pads and quantity of brake fluid should be checked regularly. Also, if you start feeling increased or decreased resistance when braking, book your car in to be checked over at a reputable garage.

Such defects could cause your brakes to fail at any time and brake failure when travelling at 70mph down a motorway, driving on a tram line or approaching a level crossing is likely to result in a fatal accident. Read more about car accident incidence rates.

Personal injuries and car defects

Personal injuries experienced in car accidents can also be exacerbated by manufacturing defects. For example, the engines of some vehicles are more susceptible to catching fire following a car accident than others, increasing the chance of burn injuries. Some cars are also more likely to roll in the event of an accident, such as SUVs.

On the other hand, some vehicles have safety features designed to decrease the chances of personal injury occurring. For example, Saab has introduced their Active Head Restraint System (SAHR) and Volvo has introduced the Whiplash Injury Prevention System, both designed to reduce the whiplash motion during a car crash and prevent whiplash injury occurring.

Making a car accident claim today

Our personal injury solicitors have successfully dealt with compensation claims made by people who have been involved in a car accident caused by mechanical failure following a trip to the garage. They have also been successful in many cases where people have claimed compensation from car manufacturers following an accident caused by a manufacturing fault.

Our claim line is open 24 hours a day so making a claim for pain, suffering and financial losses couldn't be easier with The Claim Solicitors.

We may also be able to arrange for your car to repaired free of charge with a reputable garage and provide you with a free hire car while your car is off the road.

We offer a no win, no fee service. This means that our clients donít pay a penny in up front costs. Whatís more, if you lose your case, you wonít pay anything at all. No win, no fee, is exactly what it sounds like.

To start the claim process fill out one of our online forms or give us a call on 0800 197 32 32 today.