Who doesn’t want to trick out their ride with all kinds of mods? Well, most of us probably aren’t interested, but it’s important to note that there are illegal modifications that can lead to dangerous car accidents and that can render the car owner liable for any ensuing damages. Car modifications can make a significant difference in a car’s performance and safety on the road. Modifications can significantly affect the safety performance of the original car model, and it’s worth having a clear understanding of these inherent dangers.
Pennsylvania’s Vehicle Modification Laws
The great State of Pennsylvania has laws in place to restrict certain car modifications. Let’s take a closer look:
The Sounds and Noises a Car Makes
Pennsylvania requires mufflers that prevent unusual or excessive noise on all vehicles. Headers and side exhausts are allowed if the remaining portion of the exhaust system manages to keep the noise created by the engine within the necessary legal sound parameters. Muffler cutouts and bypasses are illegal. Further, county laws in Pennsylvania can be more restrictive when it comes to noise than state laws are. A car’s noise level can be distracting – or even startling – and, thus, can be dangerous.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident that was caused by a dangerously and illegally modified vehicle, you need experienced legal counsel to help represent your case. Contact the skilled legal team at the Levin Firm today, and allow our experienced car accident attorneys to aggressively advocate for your claim’s most positive resolution.
Your Car’s Frame and Suspension – Pennsylvania has specific frame and suspension lift laws in place:
- A vehicle can’t exceed 13 feet and six inches in height;
- Front lift blocks are illegal;
- Rear lift blocks can’t exceed the original factory height by more than 5 inches;
- The maximum legal height of a car’s front and rear bumpers is 22 inches.
Illegal car-body modifications can decrease a car’s roadworthiness and ability to maneuver safely and can, thus, lead to or contribute to dangerous accidents.
Your Car’s Engine
While Pennsylvania doesn’t have any laws on the books that relate to engine modifications or engine swapping, it does require emissions testing in several counties, including Philadelphia County. Nevertheless, engine modifications aren’t necessarily safe modifications.
Your Car’s Lights
It is illegal for any car in Pennsylvania—other than an official emergency vehicle—to incorporate red and blue oscillating lights. Further, blue lights are for authorized vehicles only. While fog lights with amber bulbs are acceptable, off-road lamps must implement opaque covers when the vehicle is driven on Pennsylvania’s roadways. Only white headlights are legal in Pennsylvania, and while some high-end vehicles are equipped with headlights that may appear blue, they actually emit a high-frequency white light. Aftermarket headlights that are tinted blue, green, or any other color, on the other hand, are illegal in Pennsylvania.
When a car is equipped with illegally colored headlights, the effect can be not only distracting but also dangerously blinding to oncoming traffic and can, therefore, be implicated in car accident claims.
Your Car’s Windows
In Pennsylvania, your car’s windows are subject to window-tinting laws, which mandate that your car’s windshield may not be tinted and that your front-side and back-side windows and your rear window must all allow more than 70 percent of visible light in through whatever tint is on the windows. These percentages, are different for SUVs and vans.
In Pennsylvania, neither of a car’s side-back or side-front windows can have a mirrored appearance (which can be effected with tinting films), but there are no restrictions related to the color of the tint. Pennsylvania law also prohibits sun screening that prohibits others from seeing into the car. Finally, if the car’s back window is tinted, the car must have dual side mirrors.
Adequate visibility is paramount to safe driving, and cars that are tricked out with tinted windows can impede the driver’s clear line of vision and can lead to dangerous accidents
In total, these represent the modifications that are most closely linked to causing or contributing to Pennsylvania car accidents.
Your Car Accident Claim
Car accidents are dangerous and frightening, and if another driver’s car modifications have caused you to be injured in an accident, you’re likely to be feeling overwhelmed by the situation. You don’t have to face this difficulty alone, however; a skilled car accident attorney can help you guide your car accident claim toward its most just resolution.
Car accidents can lead to significant damages that aren’t necessarily evident from the beginning. In a serious accident, you’re likely to experience significant physical, financial, and emotional consequences that must be adequately addressed for you to be fully compensated. Your damages are likely to incorporate a variety of incurred costs:
- Property damage to your vehicle;
- Lost wages that result from lost days at work;
- A diminished earning potential (if your injuries are chronic); and
- Immense medical expenses, that can include emergency transportation; emergency medical treatment; medical appointments with doctors, specialists, surgeons, and therapists; surgery; aftercare; ongoing medical treatments and therapies (including mental health counseling); prescription medications; adaptive medical devices; home modifications; and home health care.
Further, you may also experience pain and suffering in the aftermath of the accident, which can be difficult to quantify but that is nevertheless very real. Your car accident attorney will help you assess the damages you’ve suffered and build a strong case based on the evidence in support of your claim. While car accident claims can be complicated, your rights are too important not to advocate for your rightful compensation.
If You’ve Been Injured in a Car Accident, Consult with a Skilled Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you or someone you care about has been injured in a car accident, help is available and now is the time to reach out for it. The experienced car accident attorneys at The Levin Firm in Philadelphia are committed to aggressively fighting for your claim’s best possible resolution. We’re here to help, so please contact or call us at 215-825-5183 today.