In Oregon and across the U.S., many car crashes arise because of defective car equipment, such as bad brakes or bald tires. Defective equipment is more often found in older vehicles, too, since the owners of these vehicles tend to neglect even routine maintenance.

The prevalence of older vehicles in defect-related crashes is not surprising, then. For example, the Ohio Highway Patrol looked at the defect-related accidents that had arisen in that state in the past three years and discovered that 56% were caused by model year 1999-2008 vehicles. Newer cars (made between 2009 and 2018) accounted for 24%.

Tire blowouts and brake failure were the leading causes with the former being behind 42% of fatal defect-related crashes. These are obviously defects that could have been foreseen and addressed by vehicle owners.

More and more people are holding on to their older vehicles, which means there will be a greater chance of defect-related crashes as time goes on. For example, the average age of vehicles in Ohio is 11.8 years, according to the Ohio Insurance Institute. This is up from 9.6 years in 2002. The trend is understandable since a car can last some 15 years and 300,000 miles, assuming that it’s taken care of. Newer cars are expensive, too, and even maintenance can be costly.

Still, there’s no excuse that drivers can rely on when they cause motor vehicle accidents because of defective equipment that they failed to replace in time. Those who are seriously injured in a crash and who are 50% or less at fault may file a claim against the other party’s insurance company, but they may want legal assistance. With a lawyer, victims may be able to achieve a settlement covering their medical expenses, the income lost during their recovery and more.