According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, numerous car accidents are caused by preventable errors such as drowsy driving. Mechanical failures follow closely, with periodic maintenance practices likely to prevent road mishaps. So, what are some mechanical issues to be on the lookout for?
Steering faults are some of the most problematic mechanical failures that are hard to spot, with St. Louis car accident statistics ranking steering issues among the top three likely to cause auto accidents. Problematic issues with the steering will often crop up too late, leading to a loss of control for the driver. This means reduced responses when you need to swerve out of oncoming traffic and when you need to avoid roadside property such as buildings. The result could be devastating, with the City reporting 62% of bike crashes taking place at intersections, likely caused by delayed motorist responses. Fortunately, this can be prevented by regular auto maintenance and checkups, eliminating such hazards.
Tire problems can also cause devastating effects if not checked. Due to a lack of control, drivers may find themselves in impact collisions with pedestrians and other vehicles, with the St. Louis crash report recording 36% of pedestrian crashes occurring within 200 feet of bus stops. Cars could also roll over and veer off highways, resulting in fatalities. If you find yourself in such a scenario, you may be dealing with a retread failure, manufacturing defects, and worn-out tires. Also, punctures and incompatible tires could lead to car accidents, so be sure to check out for these.
Faulty Headlights and Taillights
Headlights and taillights are an essential part of a drive, without which car accidents are inevitable. Due to poor or limited vision, drivers cannot see other drivers, pedestrians and the road, leading to safety concerns when driving in extreme weather such as storms, fog, and snow. Taillights will alert other drivers of your whereabouts in such conditions, making them crucial for averting car accidents. To avoid road hazards, ensure that broken and faulty headlights and taillights are fixed immediately after they get damaged, allowing you to prevent damage to your vehicle and injuries to your passengers and other motorists.
Brake problems are other mechanical failures reported to cause accidents. An estimated 32% of crashes in St. Louis were reported to result from speeding, an aspect that faulty brakes are often responsible for. Issues such as faulty brake lines and worn-out lines could compromise braking effectiveness, causing delayed response that leads to a collision.
Additionally, if the anti-lock is ineffective, the wheels could lock up, resulting in delayed responses. Leaks within the brake lines are other concerns that could increase the likelihood of car accidents. Brake fluid allows the brake lines to work smoothly, allowing drivers to brake at the desired time. If there is a fluid leak, the brakes are compromised, making it impossible to stop.
Faulty wipers may seem trivial, but they could prove hazardous when driving through snow storms and rainy conditions. If your wipers fail to perform as they should, they could compromise your visibility, resulting in collisions with other vehicles or pedestrians. Ensure that any faulty wipers are fixed or replaced to help you avoid such risks while on the road.
Engine and Transmission Failures
While engine and transmission failures are not common, they are equally hazardous. Defective engines can, for instance, increase the risk of a car accident, with an abrupt halt on major highways likely to cause a collision between multiple vehicles. If your engine does not have enough lubrication, it could also cause overheating, with the metal parts rendered ineffective. Rectifying this would require repairing or replacing part of the entire engine, which often comes with hefty costs. This will help reduce the number of traffic crashes in the city, with more than 14,000 injuries reported in 2021.
Whether you are an experienced driver or a newly licensed motorist looking to avoid mishaps during your everyday commute, the above mechanical failures are common areas to troubleshoot before starting your journey. Make it a point to schedule maintenance checks for your vehicle to take care of your engine, brakes, and lights. Additionally, consult a professional when your steering wheel and tires start malfunctioning.