Most states required vehicle safety inspections before registration just a few decades ago. But since then, many jurisdictions, including Florida, have repealed this requirement.
Despite the lack of car inspection laws in Florida, police officers can still remove unsafe cars from the state’s roads and highways. These procedures allow law enforcement to stop vehicles that appear visibly unsafe and prevent them from returning to the roadways where they can cause car accidents.
If you were hurt in a motor vehicle collision in St. Petersburg, FL, Lopez Law Group Accident Injury Attorneys can help. Contact our experienced St. Petersburg car accident attorneys at (727) 933-0015 for a free case review to learn more about your legal options for compensation.
How Lopez Law Group Accident Injury Attorneys Can Help After a Car Accident in St. Petersburg, FL
Lopez Law Group Accident Injury Attorneys has been representing accident victims in St. Petersburg, Florida against at-fault parties and their insurers since 2018. Our St. Petersburg car accident lawyers have recovered millions of dollars in financial compensation for our injured clients.
After a car accident, we can help you by providing the following:
- A free consultation to educate you about your rights under Florida law
- Over 25 years of combined experience handling all types of personal injury claims
- Compassionate legal representation so you can focus on your health
Car accident injuries can result from collisions with dangerously defective or damaged vehicles. Contact Lopez Law Group Accident Injury Attorneys for a free consultation to learn about your right to fair compensation in Florida.
Can Unsafe Vehicles Cause Car Accidents?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), vehicle faults and failures cause about 2% of traffic accidents. This number might seem small, but since the U.S. has so many crashes, the NHTSA estimates that as many as 44,000 collisions happen every year due to equipment failures.
The most common type of failure comes from tires and wheels. A worn tire may blow, or a lug nut might come loose due to a lack of maintenance.
Other equipment problems that can lead to car accidents include the following:
- Malfunctioning brakes
- Faulty steering
- Defective suspension
Florida releases an annual Crash Facts report that details vehicle collisions for the year. According to this report, Florida had zero crashes in 2020 and 2021 and two crashes in 2019 attributed to equipment failures. These reports suggest that crashes attributed to vehicle failures happen infrequently in Florida.
Florida Vehicle Safety Inspections
Only 15 states require some form of vehicle safety inspection, down from its peak of 33 states in the 1970s. Texas was the most recent state to eliminate safety testing.
Florida does not require annual vehicle safety inspections. Like Texas, the state previously required vehicle safety testing but has since repealed those laws. Currently, Florida only requires car owners to provide proof of auto insurance and to have no toll violations to renew their vehicle registrations.
But this does not mean police officers lack the power to remove unsafe vehicles from the state’s roads.
Under Florida law, drivers cannot operate vehicles that:
- Are so unsafe that they endanger other road users
- Lack the required equipment, like functioning headlights
- Have banned equipment, such as privacy tint on front windows
If an officer spots an unsafe vehicle, they can pull it over, perform an on-the-spot inspection, and issue a citation or a warning. They can also call for a tow truck and order the driver not to return the vehicle to the roads.
When a driver receives a warning for an unsafe vehicle, they must get their car repaired. If they get pulled over again for the same equipment violation, they risk being issued a citation. In some situations, the warning can specify a window as short as 48 hours for the repairs to occur.
After they complete the repairs, Florida allows a re-inspection by the police department that issued the citation. If the vehicle passes the test, the state reduces the penalty for the original violation.
Liability for Crashes with Unsafe Vehicles
Negligence happens when someone fails to exercise reasonable care. If someone hits you while driving an unsafe vehicle, they may be liable for your injuries. To prove liability, you will need to show that the other driver knew or should have known the dangers of driving the vehicle in its unsafe condition.
For example, suppose that a driver hits you in a rear-end collision when their brakes fail. If they had no warning of any problem, they might not bear the fault for your injuries. But if they had heard squealing noises and felt shuddering in the brake pedal for several days before the crash, they might have acted negligently by continuing to drive it.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our St. Petersburg Car Accident Lawyers If an Unsafe Vehicle Caused Your Crash
Car accidents happen for many reasons, including faulty equipment. Contact Lopez Law Group Accident Injury Attorneys at (727) 933-0015 for a free consultation to discuss your accident and learn about the compensation you can pursue for your injuries.