Many North Carolina drivers are likely aware of actions that might cause a car accident such as texting while driving, eating behind the wheel and exceeding the speed limit. However, one lesser-known risk drivers may not always consider is how their car’s condition might play a role in causing a wreck.

Motorists who perform regular maintenance on their cars may reduce the risk of causing an accident that could result in the injury or death of other drivers with whom they share the road.

Tire condition

Poor tire maintenance can lead to sudden blowouts, which may cause a multi-vehicle accident. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, more than 700 people died in crashes related to tire blowouts in 2017. Drivers can avoid these types of accidents with regular tire rotation to encourage even wear and visit a mechanic twice a year to have their tires evaluated.

Brake operation

A small percentage of brake failures are caused by factory errors: according to CNN, a large recall occurred in 2019 when General Motors noted that a brake issue caused over 100 accidents. However, other accidents involving braking failures often involve poor maintenance. Drivers can stay alert for brake issues by listening for squealing or grinding sounds, which may indicate worn brake pads. Having a car or truck’s brakes checked at least twice a year may reduce the risk of accidents caused by old or failing braking components.

Vehicle recalls related to mechanical failure are usually voluntary and repaired by a local dealer, but motorists who let their vehicles fall into disrepair could find themselves legally responsible for any injuries and ensuing property damage.