Florida doesn’t require routine safety inspections to register a vehicle. The state stopped mandating inspections in 2010 when it repealed its rules requiring drivers to present an inspection certificate. Consequently, drivers only need to have their vehicles inspected in specific situations.
It can be helpful to know about Florida’s car inspection laws and how a mechanical failure can support an injury claim. If you need help, contact Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Ft, Lauderdale car accident lawyer. Call us at (954) 287-0566.
How Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers Can Help After an Accident in Ft. Lauderdale
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers was founded in 1996 to serve Florida residents. The firm’s founder, Gregg M. Hollander, has over 28 years of legal experience and has won millions of dollars in injury compensation for clients during that time.
Some of our notable honors and accolades include:
- AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the company’s highest rating
- Induction into the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum honor society
- 10.0 Superb rating from Avvo
A car accident can devastate your finances and your health. To learn about the compensation you can seek for your auto accident, schedule a free consultation with Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers.
How Common Are Car Inspection Laws?
Until 1976, the U.S. government required states to maintain safety inspection programs to receive a portion of their budgeted highway funds. But in 1976, the government dropped the requirement, and states began to drop their inspection programs soon after.
Only 16 states currently require safety inspections, and Florida is not among them. The state repealed its safety inspection requirement in 2009, and the repeal was implemented in 2010.
After state safety inspection programs began to disappear, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) studied the role of vehicle equipment failures in car crashes. Their research found that only 2% of car accidents result from mechanical breakdowns like blown tires and brake failures.
At first glance, Florida seems to have made a reasonable decision in eliminating its safety inspection program. But as mentioned, the state has attributed 53 car accidents to mechanical failures in its annual crash report since 2015.
This number might even underrepresent the actual number of equipment-related crashes. Based on the 2% figure quoted in the NHTSA study, as many as 6,828 of the 341,399 crashes recorded in the 2020 Florida Crash Facts report might have resulted from mechanical failures.
This underreporting has several potential explanations, such as:
- Most police officers who prepare accident reports are not trained as auto mechanics
- Crash damage can conceal mechanical failures
- Accident victims might not remember what happened in an accident
Overview of Florida Car Inspection Laws
Drivers don’t need to submit their vehicles for annual routine inspection, but a police officer in Florida can stop your vehicle at any time for:
- Unsafe conditions or operation
- Missing or damaged equipment required by law
- Visible exhaust emission
The officer who stops you might give you a warning or cite you for violating Florida’s traffic laws. If you get a warning, you must repair the vehicle within 48 hours or face a fine. If you receive a citation, you’ll be expected to pay a fine. However, a judge will reduce the amount if you repair your vehicle within 30 days.
Consequences of Driving an Unsafe Vehicle
If you drive an unsafe vehicle, you increase your risk of being in a car accident. A cracked windshield obscures your view; broken tail lights make your car more difficult to see at night or during rainstorms; worn-out tires can rupture, causing you to lose control of your vehicle.
According to the NHTSA report cited previously, 35% of mechanical failures involved wheels or tires, and 22% involved brakes. The remaining 43% involved other components, including:
- Windows and windshields
These failures can lead to many types of accidents. For example, failing brakes can lead to a rear-end collision, which can result in whiplash, facial fractures, and concussions.
Similarly, wheel or tire failures can cause a sideswipe or rollover accident. Rollovers are especially dangerous, as it’s possible for the roof of the vehicle to collapse, causing a neck or back fracture.
Liability for an Equipment-Related Car Accident
Determining liability for equipment-related car accidents can be complicated.
If someone knowingly drives a broken vehicle, they might bear liability for any accidents that result. However, if they don’t know about the mechanical problems, they could potentially avoid liability for the accident.
In some cases, they might be able to shift liability to someone else. For example, a repair shop might bear responsibility for substandard repairs, and a manufacturer might be deemed liable for defective parts.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Ft. Lauderdale Car Accident Lawyers
Equipment-related car accidents can involve many other parties than just those driving the affected vehicle. If you’ve recently been in an accident and want to learn more about how to seek compensation, contact Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers for a free consultation.