Florida does not require safety inspections or emissions testing to register a vehicle. Emissions testing is required in certain cities under the federal Clean Air Act based on the air pollution measurements in those areas.
But states have some authority to set vehicle safety standards. Florida required vehicle owners to get safety inspections until the state’s law was repealed in 2000. Now, the state has very few tools to keep unsafe vehicles off its roads – and that applies to Tampa, Florida, as well.
How Winters & Yonker, P.A. Can Help After a Car Accident in Tampa
Winters & Yonker, P.A. has recovered millions of dollars for injured clients since the firm was founded over 20 years ago. Our Tampa car accident attorneys have over 119 years of combined experience and use the knowledge they have gained to aggressively represent accident victims.
The legal team with Winters & Yonker, P.A., can help with your case by:
- Collecting evidence and identifying all of your damages as part of an internal investigation into your accident
- Taking care of every aspect of your insurance claim, including all of the negotiations, paperwork, and communications
- Bringing your case in front of a Hillsborough County jury if need be
You may be entitled to injury compensation if your car crash was caused by another driver’s negligence in Tampa, FL. Contact Winters & Yonker for a free consultation to discuss your accident and the compensation you may be able to recover for your personal injuries.
What Are Car Inspection Laws?
Vehicle safety inspections were created to identify unsafe vehicles. In the states that require car inspections, auto shops usually receive a license to run an inspection program.
A mechanic reviews the vehicle according to a checklist that typically includes:
- Headlights and taillights
- Brake lights and reverse lights
- Windshield and wipers
- Tires and wheels
- Turn signals
With its lack of mandatory car safety inspections, Florida is in the majority. Only 16 states require safety inspections, while the remaining 34 do not.
Overview of Florida Car Inspection Laws
Some resources erroneously report that Florida requires safety inspections of used cars and out-of-state vehicles when they get registered, but that’s incorrect. The state only requires vehicle identification number (VIN) verification for used and out-of-state vehicles to combat theft.
Florida law only provides for safety inspections in one situation. The police in Florida can stop a dangerously unsafe vehicle. For example, if your car has broken headlights, an officer can pull you over.
When you get stopped, the police can inspect your vehicle. The officer must determine whether you can proceed safely in the vehicle or if continued use poses a hazard to you and other road users.
The officer has two options. If you cannot safely drive the vehicle, the officer can prohibit you from driving it away. They will likely assist you with a tow truck.
If you can drive the vehicle safely, the officer may allow you to leave with a warning and the understanding that you must have the vehicle repaired within 48 hours. After that time, you cannot drive the vehicle unless it is fixed.
The police can issue a citation for driving an unsafe vehicle with or after a warning. If you receive a ticket, you can mitigate the fine by getting your vehicle repaired.
Once the vehicle is repaired, you will take it and the citation to a police station. An officer will inspect the vehicle and sign the affidavit of compliance attached to the ticket. If you mail the completed affidavit of compliance to the court clerk, you will only pay a fine of $10.
Effects of Unsafe Vehicles
Vehicle malfunctions only cause about 2% of car accidents in the U.S. But this still means that approximately 44,000 car crashes result from a mechanical failure of the:
- Tires and wheels
- Suspension, transmission, or engine
A vehicle malfunction can cause all types of accidents. A brake failure can lead to rear-end or side-impact collisions when vehicles cannot stop safely. A steering failure can cause a driver to lose control of a vehicle, leading to a sideswipe or head-on crash.
Such collisions can cause a range of fatal and non-fatal injuries, including:
- Broken bones
- Torn cartilage
- Sprained ligaments
- Strained muscles and tendons
These injuries can require treatment, physical therapy, and medication. You might miss work and even suffer long-term disabilities.
Liability for Unsafe Vehicles
Liability for an unsafe vehicle may fall on the vehicle’s owner. If the owner knew or should have known that the vehicle was unsafe, they were probably negligent by continuing to drive it.
Liability can also fall on a repair shop or manufacturer. If a repair shop failed to exercise reasonable care when fixing a vehicle, the shop might bear liability for any resulting crash.
A manufacturer has a different type of liability for defective vehicles and vehicle parts. It bears strict liability for defective parts that get released to the public. That means you only need to prove the existence of the defect to win compensation for a resulting crash. You do not need to prove negligence.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Tampa Car Accident Lawyers
Regardless of the cause of the car accident in Tampa, Florida, you can suffer life-changing injuries. Contact Winters & Yonker to schedule a free consultation to discuss your car accident and the injury compensation you can pursue.