Lately, there have been several car accidents and other traffic crashes in Maricopa County and across Arizona that have led to vehicular fires, causing concern among motorists. Why do these fires keep happening, and what can be done to prevent them?
The scary truth is that some fires are unavoidable due to factors beyond a motorist’s control. If you plan to drive in the greater Phoenix area, keep the following causes of vehicular fires in mind so that you can do everything possible to remain safe while you operate your vehicle.
Design flaws are a common reason that fires happen after a collision. While a design flaw on its own will not cause a fire, it can lead to a situation where a fire occurs. For example, an engine issue, compromised fuel line, or other problems associated with areas near gasoline can make a car more likely to catch on fire. Automobile manufactures often issue recalls over cars with known design flaws but not all of those vehicles are fixed and often, some fires will take place long before a flaw is identified and addressed.
Impacts from a truck accident or a car crash may make a fire more likely, especially if the engine area of one or more vehicles is compromised. In modern design, automobiles are designed to absorb an impact in the most efficient and safest way possible, preventing a passenger compartment from deforming and, often, protecting the engine. But if a gasoline tank is punctured or if an engine is struck, the odds of a fire occurring may be higher than if a crash involves a minor rear-end accident.
Poor maintenance or even a lack of maintenance makes fire a greater possibility as well. Cars, like most items, need regular care to keep them working in optimal condition. Failing to provide the appropriate care may make a vehicle unsafe, possibly with parts that leak and/or with faulty wiring. These vehicles are more likely to be caught in a fire when involved in a crash.
Hybrid vehicles and all-electric vehicles are propelled by battery power. These batteries may seem like an incredible innovation for modern life but some have been associated with spontaneous fires stemming from overheating batteries, leading safety experts to question their use. In other cases, an accident or a piece of flying debris caused an electric battery to puncture which in turn caused the battery, and then the vehicle, to catch fire.
If you are not very interested in cars, you may not have a great idea of what a catalytic converter does or why it is important. Catalytic converters are present with both standard and diesel engines and serves to convert toxic pollutants from an engine into a less toxic output that forms car exhaust. If your engine is not running properly or if there are other issues causing pollutants to back up, the catalytic converter may overheat which can lead to a fire. This lesser understood part of the car is one of the most common reasons a car fire happens so it is important to realize and respect the role of a catalytic converter by keeping your engine and exhaust system functioning at an optimal level.
Finally, mechanical failures cause a number of fires and a number of high profile legal cases annually. Often, a spark from a faulty line may lead to the fuel catching fire, which in turn causes a car to burn. This can happen at any time and does not necessarily result from a collision.
If you were the victim of an incident where your car caught fire or if an automobile fire otherwise affected your life or the life of someone you love, know that you may be entitled to financial compensation for your damages, including any medical expenses you incurred. The personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. have experience helping burn accident victims and we are standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to put our experience to use for you. You can call us toll free at (855) PHX-LAWYER or locally at (602) 819-5191 where one of our attorneys will offer you a case consultation without cost or obligation.
Prior Blog Entry:
50 Children are Involved in Backover Accidents Every Week, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published April 2, 2016.