Vehicle Malfunctions can Cause Accidents on the Road

Finebloom, Haenel & Higgins

Traffic violations aren’t always the fault of the driver. Vehicle malfunctions and other conditions can prove to cause driving hazards that are beyond the control of vehicle operators. Recently, a Manatee County, Florida resident suffered from a fatal injury when her parked automobile ran her over while she was attempting to load the trunk with groceries. Details of the exact vehicle malfunction are yet to be uncovered, but this woman’s tragic story serves as further proof that technical errors can be just as fatal as human mistakes.

In late February, 2014 in Manatee County, Florida, a 69 year old shopper identified as Susan Roberts Murphy was discovered deceased in a local BJ”s parking lot. The investigation into the cause of her fatal injury has left many officials puzzled. The woman appears to have been crushed under the weight of a vehicle that randomly reversed over her while she was in the process of filling the trunk with shopping wares.

It is estimated that approximately 13% of traffic collisions are caused by vehicle malfunctions. While a great deal of these accidents could be the result of improper vehicle maintenance, the initial manufacturing process of a vehicle also plays an important role. Thorough investigations into the drivability of a vehicle could stand as a criminal defense for individuals accused of traffic violations, even if they were unaware of the problem before they climbed behind the wheel of their car.

The US Department of Motor Vehicles estimates upwards from 6 million annual deaths related to automobile accidents. While impaired driving remains the most common cause of collision, there are many other dangers drivers are less informed about that could also cause potential hazards on the road. In addition to vehicle malfunctions, traffic light errors can also cause collisions, especially during major storms where roadways are slick and visibility is limited.

Just twelve days prior to the Manatee County incident, a Hillsborough County driver was cited with a traffic violation after experiencing a brake failure that caused him to briefly lose control of his car. The 27 year old driver claims that he pushed his brake pedal all the way down to the floorboard, yet the vehicle refused to yield. This particular incident did not result in injuries on behalf of either party involved in the collision.

Vehicle manufacturing malfunctions have been an issue since the rise of the automobile industry. In October of 2012, the world renowned manufacturing company Toyota recalled more than 7 million cars worldwide in an incident citing possible fire hazards as well as sticky acceleration pedals.

Anyone who has incurred a traffic citation should be made aware of the threat that a vehicle malfunction could pose, especially if the driver felt a loss of vehicular control at the time of receiving a citation. Much like the Manatee County case and the Hillsborough incident, a thorough investigation of the vehicle’s drivability could play a major part in the outcome of a traffic case. Other possible causes of traffic violations include hazardous weather conditions and uneven terrain.