While almost all vehicles on the highway today are equipped with enhanced safety equipment, this is not true for all cars and trucks. Older vehicles tend to have only standard equipment such as traditional headlights and tail lights. Among these lights, tail lights are actually an important component of vehicle safety because they play a major role in many highway accidents. In fact, information compiled over the years shows that many accidents in New Jersey and across the country stem from faulty or unrecognized turn signals.
Driving with malfunctioning auto equipment is technically an operating violation in New Jersey, including faulty lighting systems. Drivers need to know what other drivers are doing before they do it, so malfunctioning turn signals are unacceptable. However, some turn signals can be ineffective even when they work. This is especially true regarding red signal indicators: A 2008 study by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration revealed that vehicles with red rear blinkers are 22% more likely to be hit from the rear than those with amber blinking signals.
Of course, the reasons given by vehicle manufacturers for installing red turn signals is that amber light installation is more expensive when products are being assembled, and the economies of scale favor red turn signals. However, this argument may not be valid because manufacturers also install more modern amenities in newer vehicles with red signals like laser headlights and other electronic equipment.
This type of attention to detail might be an important factor when a New Jersey personal injury lawyer is proving a case of vicarious liability in a car accident injury resulting from a rear-end collision. Car manufacturers are held to strict liability with respect to the design and operation of their products, so an experienced personal injury lawyer may be able to use minor details like signal color as causation in negotiating an injury claim