A Car Fire Occurs Every 96 seconds in the US
Written by Greg on December 20, 2014
According to AAA, about 266,000 resulted in 520 deaths in the US from car fires. The AAA report goes on to say that nearly 75% of vehicle fires can be traced to poor car maintenance as the leading factor. While other authorities place the percentage much lower, there is no doubt that the condition of a vehicle can be a factor in a automobile fire.
There are at least six flammable fluids under the hood of a car that can start a fire if they drop onto other surfaces. All hoses, lines, caps and filters should be inspected regularly and replaced when they show signs of wear.
In fact, experts indicate that drivers should watch for fluid leaks under your vehicle, cracked or blistered hoses, or wiring that is loose, has exposed metal or has cracked insulation. Have any of these conditions inspected and repaired as soon as possible. Equally important, listen to the sounds your car is making.
Dangerous Designs and Car Fires
Another cause of a car fire is a dangerous design by the manufacturer. Everyone is heard of the Ford Pinto and explosions or even the General Motors sidesaddle gas tank pickup truck that made the news whenever someone was burned alive.
Placement of the gas tank, the components of the fuel system and real world crashes can all play a role in a car fire.
Recent developments have reduced the number of car buyers but manufacturers are still reluctant to initiate a recall for financial reasons.
The good news is that because of the potential for a huge jury verdict in a car fire case, manufacturers are more likely to consider a recall for a defect that may cause a car fire. History has shown that jurors react to defective designs that result in people perishing in a fire.
What to do if your car catches fire
- Pull over as quickly as you can do so safely
- Turn off the car
- Get everyone out- do not return to a burning vehicle
- Move more than 100 feet away
- Call for help
Safety tips to avoid car fires
- Service your car regularly
- If you must transport flammable liquids- carry only a small amount
- Never carry gas containers in the passenger compartment
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