While many of us would like to have stunning new rims for upgraded tires as well as visually attractive trim work to make our vehicles stand out on the road (and make them easily identifiable in a crowded parking lot), sometimes there is added value and security in the basic model. Although legal, with each modification made to a factory car, comes the potential for an accident. Not only are many of the aftermarket car parts not up to the standards of the original manufacturer, creating inevitable accidents when they malfunction, but some are also downright flashy and distracting to drivers on the roads. At what point do these parts go from being a vehicle enhancement to liability in a car accident?
OEM Versus Aftermarket
The vehicle industry breaks into the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and the secondary parts manufacturers, aftermarket. If you take your car to the dealership for repair, you are getting the original parts intended for the vehicle. If you take it anywhere else, you are getting cheaper, and perhaps sub-quality parts. Once drivers begin adding custom parts and colors to their vehicles, the accessories start leaning toward distracting other drivers.
How Can Parts Be A Distraction
It would seem that the flashy colors would make all other drivers aware of the presence of a vehicle, reducing the likelihood of its involvement in an accident. However, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes involve some form of driver distraction. While most believe that preoccupation is always electronics related (which can occur, too), there are several causes of distracted driving. The five most prevalent causes of distracted driving include:
- Cell phone usage,
- Reaching for an object inside the vehicle,
- Looking at something or someone else’s car outside the window,
- Reading, and
- Makeup application.
Paint Jobs and Fancy Accessories Causing Accidents
It is within the legal rights of a vehicle owner to paint their car and add modifications. However, Illinois does have regulations about lights, sounds, and parts that may distract or blind other drivers. If you were involved in an accident that involved a vehicle with aftermarket parts, it is advisable to discuss your case with a personal injury attorney to discuss your options. If you would like to speak with a Waukegan, IL car accident attorney, Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. is available to help. We proudly offer four convenient locations and a free consultation to assist you. Call us today at 847-662-3303 to schedule a visit today.