Car accidents often are not accidents. They really are mostly negligence. Sometimes the negligence is the driver’s fault. They could be drunk. Or sleepy. Or texting on their phone. Or driving too fast on a snowy and icy road. But they are not doing what someone driving three- to six-thousand pounds of vehicle at a velocity that would carry them across a football field every three seconds.
But sometimes there is another or additional cause. Mechanical failure. A piece of a vehicle, such as a brake line, a part of the suspension, an accelerator fitting, fails. And with that, failure begins the cascade of unfortunate events that leads to a collision, crash or similar disaster.
To discover that failure is a painstaking, meticulous effort. Accident reconstruction attempts to work backwards from the wreckage and determine at what point something when wrong. This means it is important to secure the remains of a crash to enable engineers and other investigators to examine the pieces and determine a brake failed because a seal failed or a tire blew out because a defect in the design.
Or why an air bag inflator shattered into pieces, and those shards were sprayed throughout the interior of a vehicle, causing cuts and wounds to the driver, and in some cases, causing their death.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has ordered the air bag manufacturer to preserve all air bag inflators that it receives as part of a worldwide recall of 20 million vehicles. Takata is to set aside 10 percent, enabling individual litigants and their attorneys to examine the parts for use in their litigation involving deaths and injuries attributed to the defect.
Reuters.com, “Takata must save faulty air-bag inflators for litigation, U.S. probe,” Bernie Woodall and Eric Beech, February 25, 2015