Common Car Problems That Lead to Auto Accidents and How to Avoid Them

changing car tire

Have you ever passed a car wreck surrounded by police cars and traffic cones and thought, “Wow, I hope that never happens to me?” Well, we want the same thing. That’s why we’ve compiled top common car problems that you may not realize could be dangerous. Read more about them below to stay safe on the road.

Faulty Brakes 

Faulty brakes cause about 300,000 auto accidents per year in the U.S. When your brakes aren’t working properly, they can fail to engage completely, which reduces your ability to stop in time or at all.

How can you avoid this? 

Have your brakes checked by a professional mechanic at least once a year, or whenever you notice any unusual sounds, vibrations, or a decrease in stopping power.

Always keep an eye on your brake fluid level as well and top it up as needed. If any part of your braking system seems to be worn out or damaged, don’t procrastinate—get it fixed immediately.

Defective Windshield Wipers

Imagine being caught in a heavy downpour with your wipers doing a lousy job of clearing the water from your windshield. Heavy rain reduces your visibility and increases the risk of colliding with other vehicles, pedestrians, or obstacles on the road.

There are many ways to make sure this never happens to you.

  • Pay attention to your windshield wipers. If they’re cracked, torn, or leaving streaks on the windshield, it’s time to replace them.
  • Change windshield wipers out regularly. Most manufacturers recommend changing your wiper blades every six months to a year, or as soon as you notice a decrease in visibility.
  • Refill your windshield washer fluid. This aids the wipers in cleaning the windshield. Maintaining your wipers and washer fluid can go a long way in ensuring a clear view of the road ahead to avoid any unforeseen hazards.

Malfunctioning Airbags

Airbag malfunctions are another common car problem that could result in an auto accident. If your airbags fail to deploy during a crash, you’re at a greater risk for serious injury. Alternatively, airbags can sometimes deploy at inappropriate times and startle the driver and potentially cause an accident.

To prevent airbag-related issues, it is crucial to pay attention to your car’s warning lights. If your airbag warning light illuminates, it’s a signal that there’s a problem with your airbag system and it needs immediate attention.

Additionally, always ensure any recalls related to your vehicle are addressed promptly because many airbag issues are often the subject of recalls.

Tire Failure

One of the most common car problems is tires. A sudden flat tire coming off while driving can lead to loss of control over the vehicle, with potentially devastating consequences.

Regular tire maintenance is the first step to ensuring your safety. This includes checking tire pressure monthly and adjusting as necessary, inspecting tires for uneven wear or damage, and rotating them as recommended by the manufacturer to ensure even wear.

Be aware of the age of your tires. Tires that are six years old or older are more likely to fail, even if they appear to be in good condition. Replace old tires promptly to ensure your safety on the road.

Broken Lights

A broken or malfunctioning light is another one of the common car problems that can lead to accidents. The lights on your vehicle—headlights, brake lights, tail lights, and turn signals—play a pivotal role in both visibility and communication. If any of these lights are not functioning correctly, it can lead to misunderstandings, late reactions, or lack of visibility.

Make it a habit to check your lights periodically, ideally once a week. You can do this by turning on your lights and walking around your vehicle to ensure they are all working as intended. It’s also a good idea to keep spare bulbs in your vehicle for emergency replacements.

Had an Accident? Valley Collision Is Here to Help!

While we hope these steps can help you avoid these common car problems, sometimes an accident is inevitable. If you’re in need of help with your car damage, reach out to Valley Collision for a quote. With just a phone call away, we can get your car back up and running in no time!

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