Is your car or truck crashworthy?
When it comes to safety, today’s automobiles far surpass those rolled out even five years ago. Auto manufacturers are constantly looking for ways to develop and add features aimed to improve a motor vehicle’s functioning, handling and safety. For example, rear-view cameras and crash avoidance systems are designed to help prevent a driver from being involved in a car accident.
While many auto makers continue to focus on prevention, some car accidents are unavoidable. So what about those safety features aimed to prevent drivers and passengers who are involved in a crash or collision from suffering serious or fatal injuries?
Safety devices like seat belts, air bags and crumple zones function to help reduce the seriousness of injuries vehicle occupants may suffer when involved in a car accident. These types of safety devices comprise a vehicle’s crashworthiness rating. In cases where a crashworthy feature is defective or actually serves to increase the severity of an individual’s injuries, a manufacturer may be held liable.
For example, say a man is driving his car when he encounters an icy patch on the road and crashes into a tree. During the collision, the man’s seat belt unexpectedly comes unlatched or maybe the driver’s side airbag fails to deploy. In cases where crashworthy safety features fail to work or work properly in preventing a driver or passenger from suffering further injury, legal action based on a vehicle’s crashworthiness may be appropriate.
In these types of cases, proving that a vehicle manufacturer is liable can be difficult. A products liability attorney can answer questions and provide advice on how to proceed.
Source: FindLaw.com, “Car Defects: The Concept of ‘Crashworthiness’,” 2014
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