83% of Americans with disabilities drive a personal car or ride in one as a passenger (U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Omnibus Household Survey, June 2002). For people with disabilities and without disabilities, the importance of car repairs extends far beyond the periodic oil changes that can prevent replacement of an engine. Neglect of proper negligence is always reckless driving. Tragically, the deaths, injuries and burdensome expenses that are the consequence of inadequate car maintenance are entirely preventable. A review of the literature identifies neglect of car maintenance as a cause of road accidents, and estimates that 5%-14% of all car accidents are the result of this neglect.The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 24 million accidents that damaged cars during during 2010. These accidents resulted in 32,999 deaths and 3.9 million non-fatal injuries.
The American Safety Council reports that proper car maintenance includes the inspection of lights, windshields, mirrors, tires, belts, hoses, emission control systems, ignition systems and brakes. The repair of cars with adaptive equipment requires specialized knowledge.The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is a national organization that offers training and certification to technicians who specialize in accessible vehicles.When people drive cars with adaptive equipment, the best place to repair the car is usually the place where it was purchased. The company that manufactures the car or your insurance company can also provide a list of shops.The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) is a non-profit trade organization that operates a quality assurance program for shops that service accessible vehicles.
The enforcement of a warranty's provisions depends upon proper maintenance.Warranties and insurance companies do not cover neglect. In fact, some warranties require maintenance at specified intervals. Warranties for adaptive equipment may include specifications for inspection that occur at different intervals than those intervals required for the car.A car in which adaptive equipment is installed will require that an insurance policy is in place during the process of installation, before the car is driven.Your car’s manual should be read for the information that will preserve your car and, quite possibly, your life.
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