Dangerous Automobile Accessories

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What Are Automobile Accessories?

Automobile accessories are car parts that generally aren’t necessary for the normal functioning of an automobile. Most car accessories are attachments to the car that serve a decorative or stylistic purpose rather than a practical purpose. Or, some accessories may be modifications to an existing part in order to make the part more aesthetically pleasing.

Automobile laws prohibit car owners from using or placing accessories on their car that might pose a risk of danger to the driver or to other drivers on the road.  Thus, automobile owners should always exercise caution when adding any non-manufacturer accessories to their car. 

Illegal automobile accessories contribute to a large percentage of automobile accidents every year. Automobile accessories are also a common focus of many major car defect recalls.

What Are Some Examples of Dangerous Automobile Accessories?

Some automobile accessories are actually legal, but are considered dangerous due to the risks that an ordinary consumer might not be aware of. Other accessories are flatly illegal and should be avoided (not just to avoid a ticket, but to avoid serious injuries to one’s self and/or other driver). Or, some automobile accessories only become dangerous when they’re used in the wrong way, such as the improper use of high beams or fog lights.

Some examples of automobile accessories that might be dangerous include:

As mentioned, you should double-check with your local laws before adding any accessories to your automobile. If you’re unsure about the status of a particular accessory, you should hold off on installing it on or in your car (especially if you order one from the internet or from overseas). 

What Are the Legal Consequences of Dangerous Automobile Accessories?

The legal consequences of installing a dangerous automobile accessory can vary depending on the situation. In many cases, the police may simply issue the owner a “fix-it-ticket” with instructions to remove the accessory from the car. These can sometimes involve a monetary fine that must be paid to the court.

However, in the event a car crash, a dangerous automobile accessory can sometimes increase the liability of the responsible party. This is especially true if the accessory directly caused the accident or injury. Liability increases even more where the owner of the vehicle is aware of the risks or illegal status of an accessory, yet continues to use it. 

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help Regarding Dangerous Automobile Accessories?

The laws covering dangerous automobile accessories are different in every state. Thus, you may wish to contact a lawyer for advice on how to deal with automobile accessories in your area. Also, if you’ve been injured due to a dangerous automobile accessory, your personal injury attorney can help you file a lawsuit and will represent you in court during proceedings.

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Last Modified: 12-15-2014 02:02 PM PST

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