New York State requires vehicles to be in good working order. A properly functioning vehicle helps to prevent accidents. Every motor vehicle driven on public roadways needs to have at a minimum:

  • Adequate brakes
  • Steering that is in good working order
  • A horn
  • Wipers
  • At least 2 headlamps in the front
  • At least two lighted lamps on the rear
  • Adjustable interior mirrors
  • Adjustable side view mirrors
  • A front windshield (that is unobstructed)
  • A rear window
  • A front and rear bumper
  • Seatbelts (for vehicles manufactured after 1965)
  • Signaling devices

Failure to have the proper equipment on your vehicle may result in traffic violations. Should you get into an accident without having your vehicle in good working order, you may be found negligent. When a person is negligent, it means that he or she has behaved in a thoughtless or careless manner, which has caused harm or injury to another person. Not replacing failing brakes, for example, may be deemed negligent if you rear end a vehicle while trying to stop. If the other driver suffers injuries as a result of that accident, you may be liable for far more than it would have cost to get your car fixed.

The law requires drivers to use reasonable care to avoid harming anyone encountered on the road. This is not limited to the operation of the vehicle, but also includes maintaining and using the car’s equipment properly.

Bottom line is, drivers are expected to maintain their vehicles in safe working order. Make sure you take proper care of your vehicle to avoid traffic violations and accidents.