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What Causes Cars to Catch Fire?

Rio Rico, AZ – Fatal Car Crash on I-19 Frontage Rd

There is seldom one single reason for a car fire, even if an investigator can eventually track the incident that caused the spark. The most probable explanation is that several different factors played a role: human factors, mechanical factors, and chemical factors, and they all synced up to form a very volatile situation. In other words, once a car is alight, any one of a million other issues can and will make your situation dier. Understanding just what all of those factors are could help you circumvent an incredibly explosive situation. The only thing that you truly need to know is that once you see those flames, it really doesn’t matter which factors played a role. Your car is on fire.

Design Flaws

A design flaw in a car is almost never going to be enough to cause a car to ignite all on its own. They can, however, encourage conditions that would be highly conducive to a fire, and possibly even produce situations in which a fire is going to be unavoidable. Typically, the car manufacturer will find out about these issues prior to mishaps becoming a nightly newsworthy item. The manufacturer has the ability to issue a recall in an effort to remove dangerous vehicles from public roads and address the design flaw directly. No vehicle manufacturer wants to be known for burning its customers alive.

What Causes Cars to Catch Fire?

Poor Maintenance

Not unlike a design flaw, operator error isn’t likely to be the single specific cause of your car fire either. Being lazy where your vehicle’s upkeep is concerned is not exactly in the same wheelhouse as shoving an oily rag halfway into the gas tank and striking a match. If you are lax when it comes to performing routine maintenance then you are involuntarily making your car a lot more vulnerable to a car fire. This is due to the fact that if you allow leaky gaskets, faulty wiring, or broken pieces, go unchecked, it could very well make your vehicle more likely to create the conditions that lead to car fires.

Car Crashes

Depending on the point of impact, a car accident is another way in which a car could catch fire. Most cars are designed so that the sheet metal absorbs any shock from the collision and shields internal areas that could be problematic, such as the gas tank, the engine, and even the battery. When all is said and done, however, your protective barrier is just sheet metal, so impact at the right speed and the right angle is liable to lead to fluids leaking, as well as smoke and heat. If your goal was to start a vehicle fire you couldn’t ask for better conditions than those. 

Since it is difficult for those inside of a wrecked car to realize the scope of the damage, the warning of a car fire might not be readily obvious. For obvious reasons, it is always wise to move away from a car that is smoking or otherwise clearly on fire. Your vehicle may suffer irreparable damage but you should still count your blessings that you’re not trapped inside.

While the injuries that stem from a car crash can be severe, the aftereffect could be a life-or-death situation when a car fire breaks out, and when it does, the victims of those fires are entitled to financial compensation for their injuries and other damages.

At the Escamilla Law Group, our personal injury attorneys know how catastrophic vehicle fires are and how crucial it is for the victims and their loved ones to have effective, aggressive legal representation. For a free consultation regarding a personal injury case you feel you may have, please reach out to us by calling (623) 562-3838 to schedule your confidential appointment today. 

 

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