Detection of Defects in Accidents 730584

Several sets of both police-reported and in-depth traffic accident data are queried with respect to the involvement of vehicle malfunctions or defects in accident causation. It is concluded that accident-causing defects are inconsistently reported, are often attributable to the lack of appropriate maintenance practices, and are evidently not being corrected by present motor vehicle inspection systems. Although vehicle malfunctions are less frequently identified as accident causes than either human or environmental factors, they are noted often enough to be considered a problem. It is suggested that the automotive engineer has already built into the vehicle many detection systems which serve notice to the vehicle owner/operator that a component needs attention. Finally, it is suggested that further efforts in this direction may supplement state authorized periodic inspection programs in minimizing the incidence of vehicle defects in accidents.


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