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Can You Safely Drive a Car After a Collision?

Getting into an accident often leads to a significant number of immediate questions right after the incident occurs, not the least of which is, “Can I safely drive my vehicle after the crash?”

The reality is that it is generally unsafe to operate a vehicle after a collision occurs unless the incident was extremely minor. Often, there are issues with the vehicle that make it incredibly unsafe to operate, even for short distances, after a collision. If you’ve been in a wreck, a Houston car accident lawyer with The Doan Law Firm may be able to help.

Dangers of Operating Your Vehicle After a Crash Happens

Some of the main risks involved with operating a vehicle after a crash include the following:

  1. Hidden structural damage. Collisions can cause structural damage to the car’s frame or undercarriage that is not immediately visible. This can affect the vehicle’s stability and safety in future driving.
  2. Compromised safety features. The impact might have damaged safety features such as airbags, seatbelts, or crumple zones, making the car less safe in the event of another accident.
  3. Electrical issues. Modern vehicles have complex electrical systems, and a collision can cause issues that may not be immediately apparent, including malfunctioning lights, battery issues, or problems with the vehicle’s computer systems.
  4. Leaks. Fluid leaks, such as oil, coolant, brake fluid, or transmission fluid, can occur after a collision. Driving with low levels of essential fluids can cause significant damage to the vehicle.
  5. Alignment problems. The impact can throw off the vehicle’s alignment, which can cause uneven tire wear, poor handling, and increased strain on vehicle components.
  6. Brake damage. The vehicle’s braking system may have been compromised during the collision, leading to reduced braking effectiveness or failure.
  7. Tire damage. Tires may be damaged in a collision through punctures, sidewall damage, or misalignment, leading to a risk of blowouts.
  8. Engine and transmission issues. The engine and transmission can suffer from unseen damage that could lead to failure while driving.
  9. Legal and insurance issues. Driving a vehicle that has been deemed unsafe or not roadworthy after an accident can have legal consequences and may affect insurance claims.
  10. Increased wear and tear. Operating a damaged vehicle can exacerbate existing issues, leading to more costly repairs down the line.

These Issues Are Often Not Immediately Visible

After a vehicle accident occurs, it is not uncommon for individuals to fail to notice signs or symptoms of injuries until hours or even a few days after the incident occurs. That is often also what happens concerning vehicle damage.

Right after a vehicle accident occurs, most people are simply thinking about getting away from the accident scene, getting home, and beginning the claims process. This can lead to individuals not taking the proper time to fully examine possible vehicle damage.

If you have been involved in an accident, we strongly encourage you to have your vehicle towed from the scene of the incident to a trusted mechanic or body shop for a complete evaluation. It is not uncommon for qualified mechanics to notice mechanical or body issues with the vehicle that you may not see on your own. In order to confidently file an insurance claim, you should know all of the damages associated with the incident.

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