The National Fire Protection Association reports that in 2013, there were 164,000 reported car fires in the United States. The average number of vehicle fires each year (approximately 150,000) account for over 1,000 serious and possibly fatal burn and inhalation injuries. This figure doesn't include injuries sustained by firefighters.
Avoiding Injury by Knowing the Cause
It makes sense that a vehicle fire might happen with a catalyst such as an accident. However, that's not the only reason. For example, when you stop and consider the intricacies of electrical components and wiring—all in close proximity to a ready fuel source—this what it makes vehicle fires so prevalent. Here are the top three fire starters:
- Flammable liquids and combustible fumes. Gasoline and oil are central fluids for keeping a vehicle healthy and moving. When these fluids come in contact with a spark or an extreme heat source such as an overheated engine or collision friction, they can ignite. The flash point of gasoline is 45 degrees, so even if a spark comes in contact with fumes, combustion can occur.
- Inferior electrical wiring. Vehicle manufacturers are going to great lengths to include additional inputs and outputs to accommodate expanding technology. As a result, hundreds of crisscrossing electrical wires are embedded into the console. When even one of those wires is defective, it causes a chain reaction with the other wires and sparks ignite. A spark may also catch the hydrogen gas released from a charging battery.
- Impact force. The heat and destruction produced by a collision can easily start a fire. The crumpling or tearing of containers which contain flammable liquids can result in leaks. Friction caused by the crash often produces a tremendous amount of heat, sometimes up to 1700 degrees. At that temperature, any flame-retardant coating on upholstery or in plastic molding gets pushed out, causing them to burn or melt.
Extinguishing Recovery Expenses by Pursuing an Injury Claim
At the law firm of Johnson & Gilbert, P.A., we believe that serious car fire burns and inhalation injuries caused by someone else’s negligence deserve compensation. A vehicle fire can cause disastrous physical and psychological trauma, as well as third-degree property damage, all of which can be expensive to treat and repair. As a victim of the accident, those expenses should not be your burden to carry. Contact our office today to schedule your free case review, and see how we can help extinguish your accident worries so you can focus on your recovery.Help us raise car fire awareness by liking us and sharing this page on Facebook. A few simple clicks could potentially save a life.