How common are car fires after a crash, and what are the warning signs?

Across the United States, fire departments respond to a highway vehicle fire about every three minutes. While many car fires are caused by some type of mechanical defect, nearly three of every five are started because of a collision or a rollover accident. Directly after an accident, it’s natural for victims to be confused and frozen, but it’s important to recognize the signs of an imminent fire and know what to do when faced with that situation.

Common Causes of Car Fires After an Accident

Many car fires are caused by faulty wiring or leaky fluids. Crash-related car fires, however, are a little different. While the most flammable parts of a car are shielded as much as possible from an impact, the force of a crash can be great enough to cause damage that can start a fire, including:

  • Ruptured batteries
  • Broken fuel lines
  • Damaged fuel tank or engine
  • Electrical short circuit
  • Cracked radiator

Signs of a Fire After an Alaska Car Crash

Cars don’t typically erupt in a ball of flames after a collision like they do in movies. There are warning signs that a fire is imminent, and drivers and passengers can prevent serious injury by identifying the risks and taking action. Some of the warning signs include:

  • Smoke
  • Sparks
  • Leaking fluid
  • Smell of burning rubber or plastic

While many fires do start near the engine or gas tank, these are not the only places where a fire can spark in a vehicle. They can ignite near the wheels, under the dashboard, under the vehicle, or even in the passenger compartment. So, it’s important to heed any warning signs from any area of the car and move away from the vehicle as quickly as possible.

Even careful drivers can find themselves facing unavoidable burns and other injuries from fires. These injuries can be severe and life-changing, and victims will need help to make as full a recovery as possible. Attorney Ben Crittenden helps accident victims obtain the medical care and compensation they need to move forward by fully investigating the accident, pursuing legal action against the responsible party, and protecting victims’ compensation from those who may seek to take advantage of them. Call Ben in his Anchorage office today or take a moment to request a free copy of his book, A Guide to Car Accident Claims in Alaska, to learn more about your legal rights and options.