Traffic Accidents Caused by "Beaters" an Emerging Problem


November 30, 2011

While there are many causes of Georgia car accidents, few people consider the impact of a growing number of aging vehicles. Some motor vehicle accidents are caused by poor vehicle maintenance or system failures that may be related to the advanced age of a car, truck or SUV.

Because of the continuing slow pace of economic growth and high unemployment rate, many consumers are choosing to continue driving old “beaters” instead of buying newer vehicles. "Beaters" is a term that has been used to refer to old cars and trucks that are junkers, or that haven't really been taken care of for years. Although economic realities may make this unavoidable, there is no question that the tendency of drivers not to replace older vehicles may cause more Georgia car accidents and result in more serious injuries.

The most obvious way that driving a “beater” increases auto accident risk is that older, poorly maintained vehicles are more likely to experience a mechanical failure. While regular maintenance can help prevent age-related car accidents resulting from such issues as tire blowouts, brake failure, power steering issues and other mechanical problems, motor vehicles are not designed to run forever so parts and components may begin to fail even if you take exemplary care of your motor vehicle. There are few experiences more terrifying than driving down the freeway at 70 mph when your electrical system or brakes fail causing you to lose all control of your vehicle. Meticulous vehicle maintenance can help reduce this risk by taking the following steps:

  • Regularly checking tire pressure and replacing tires
  • Getting regular oil changes
  • Having the brakes on your vehicle serviced regularly
  • Performing all preventative maintenance identified in your owner’s manual

It is always advisable to drive a vehicle that is not so old that it is no longer safe. If you find that you have no choice but to drive a beater, it is very important to at least have regular maintenance performed. An automotive professional should check out your vehicle every so often, particularly as your vehicle ages. Drivers that continue to drive a beater without performing critical maintenance may be liable if an equipment failure causes a Georgia car accident resulting in injuries or wrongful death.

If you or a family member is injured in a car accident because the other driver’s car malfunctioned due to it being a beater or improperly maintained, you may have a right to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit. Our Atlanta auto accident attorneys are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

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Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.