When you drive, you expect to reach your destination without having your car, truck or SUV burst into flames. Still, automotive fires are more common than you probably think. In fact, there are roughly 170,000 vehicle fires in the U.S. every single year. This means a car fire happens roughly every three seconds somewhere in the country.
Because of the combustible materials in vehicles, a car fire can quickly become disastrous. Here are three of the more common reasons automotive fires typically occur.
1. Car accidents
By far, car accidents are the most common cause of automotive fires. When vehicles collide, sparks may ignite flammable parts of any vehicle. Furthermore, because most cars on the road today have internal combustion engines, spilled gasoline after a crash may provide a ready supply of fuel.
2. Mechanical defects
Modern vehicles have thousands of electrical wires running through them. If a live wire sustains damage or is otherwise defective, an electrical fire may start somewhere inside a vehicle. Likewise, overheated brakes, radiators and engines may cause vehicles to combust.
3. Fluid leaks
Just as gasoline may feed a fire, many of the fluids inside cars are also flammable. If a car leaks brake or transmission fluid, for example, displaced fluid may ignite when it touches hot surfaces. Therefore, safety-conscious motorists should not ignore fluid leaks.
Regardless of its cause, you only may have a few seconds to escape from an automotive fire. Ultimately, if you suffer a catastrophic burn, lung damage or any other injury due to a car fire, you may be eligible for substantial financial compensation to help you through your recovery.