Highway vehicle fires in the United States have decreased significantly since the 1980s, with the amount lowering from 440,000 fires a year to 164,000. Vehicle fires, however, still do occur and greatly endanger the lives of people who are involved. There are a variety of reasons why motor vehicles catch fire. No matter the exact reason why a car catches fire, however, many people are not certain how to act in these situations.
Causes of Vehicle Fires
The National Fire Protection Association reports that 20% of all fires involve a motor vehicle. You might be curious, however, about how a motor vehicle fire starts. Based on whether an accident occurred, the originating impact might have caused a fuel leak, which needs just a small spark to create a substantial fire. Not all fuel leaks, however, are caused by motor vehicle crashes. Improper vehicle maintenance can resulted in rusted gas tanks. There are also situations in which car fires are caused by professionals who assist in changing oil. Improper maintenance is just one of the other reasons why car fires occur. Sometimes, the car catching fire is attributed to manufacturing or design defects in a vehicle. Another common cause of fires are vehicles that have electrical problems.
What to do if You Experience a Vehicle Fire
If your vehicle is on fire, there are some important safety measures that can be taken, which include the following:
- Pull over at the first safe opportunity. Make sure to signal as you pull off the road.
- Once the vehicle is stopped, turn off the engine, and get out of the vehicle.
- After getting out of the vehicle, do not return for any reason.
- Move everyone involved at least 100 feet from the burning vehicle.
- Contact emergency services.
- Signal approaching traffic of the danger.
Injuries Associated With Vehicle Fires
Vehicle fires involve highly flammable and toxic materials, which can quickly create very dangerous conditions for a victim of these accidents. The resulting injuries can become more serious as the victims remain exposed to these hazards. The fumes from toxic materials are frequently deadly, and if a victim is not promptly rescued, the fumes can overpower and lead to fatalities. Explosions that occur after a vehicle fire can also result in second and third degree burns over large portions of a person’s body. People who survive vehicle fires often require significant medical care for these injuries. Sometimes, debris from explosions can even cause lacerations as well as other trauma. It is important to remember that all of these injuries have the potential to claim a person’s life as well as result in life changing medical complications.
Speak to a Seasoned Accident Attorney Today
If you have been impacted by the result of a car fire, it is a wise idea to contact an experienced attorney at our law firm for assistance. Even if you exercised proper safety steps after a vehicle fire, injuries or fatalities might have occurred. If you need the assistance of a seasoned attorney who will fight for the compensation you deserve, contact Ferrara & Gable today.