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Could driving a banged-up vehicle lead to a crash?

Driving along one day, you are hit by a driver who clearly takes less pride in their vehicle than you.

While not everyone wants or can afford a new car, drivers must lavish a certain amount of care on their vehicles to keep them safe. The polishing routine you see in movies such as American Graffiti was not just about making your vehicle stand out. Passing over every inch with a cloth allows drivers to notice issues before they become dangerous.

Gleaming paint and shiny trim is not necessary for your car to be safe, nor is it always a guarantee of well-maintained mechanics. Just look at all the well-polished death traps that sit in car dealers’ yards waiting to fool an unsuspecting buyer.

So, what does matter in a car?

Here are things drivers must check to keep their car in safe working order:

  • Brakes: Worn brake pads, leaking hoses or empty reservoirs are dangerous. Sometimes you need to stop on a dime, and less than optimal brakes could make this impossible.
  • Wheels: It does not matter how fancy your rims are. If the wheel nuts are not tight or the tires are out of tread, your vehicle is unsafe.
  • Glass: Cracked mirrors or windshields could mean you miss seeing an approaching vehicle.
  • Turn signals: Expecting other drivers to second-guess your next move because your signals don’t work is asking for problems.
  • Lights: Many crashes occur because one driver does not see the other. Operative lights are crucial, and they need to be switched on in poor weather and at night.
  • Bodywork: Flaking paint is not an issue. Sharp-edged bits of metal or bumpers held on by string are, especially to pedestrians and cyclists.

Showing that another driver’s vehicle was unsafe to be on the road may help you get the compensation you need if they injure you in a car crash.