Many car crashes in Arizona and across the U.S. are the result of defective equipment in one of the vehicles. Indirectly, these crashes are caused by car owners who fail to maintain their vehicles by, for example, changing the tires or having the brakes checked. This tendency to neglect maintenance can be especially seen in the owners of older vehicles.

It stands to reason, then, that most vehicles that cause defect-related crashes are older. The Ohio Highway Patrol analyzed all such crashes that occurred in the state in the past three years and found that 56% involved a model year 1999-2008 vehicle. By contrast, 24% involved a vehicle made between 2009 and 2018. Blown tires and brake failure were the most common factors. The former accounted for 42% of fatal defect-related crashes.

Such accidents will only become more prevalent as the average age of vehicles on the road goes up. In Ohio, for example, the average age is 11.8 years whereas in 2002, it was 9.6 years.

Drivers are keeping their older vehicles for good reasons. For one thing, a car can last some 15 years and run for 300,000 miles. Another is that newer cars are expensive; so is maintaining them because they come with sensors and other electronics. Still, this cannot excuse drivers from neglecting maintenance.

When car accidents involve defective equipment, victims may want to find out if the driver could have reasonably known about the defect and if the driver had enough time to be able to address it. If the answers are in the affirmative, victims may be able to file a personal injury claim because it would be clear that the other side was negligent. With a lawyer, victims may strive for the maximum settlement possible out of court.