While engine fires are not too common, the elements needed to start an engine fire are
often in close proximity during an accident. A spark, present together with fuel and
oxygen, will cause an engine to explode into fire. This occurs most often in older
vehicles whose gas tanks are not able to withstand the impact of the accident. Multiple
hot surfaces present themselves during an accident, and are primed for an explosion.
Circumstances that contribute to a greater likelihood of engine fires include:
- The age of the car. Older cars have had more time to degrade, and hoses that
start out as flexible but end up hardened and therefore prone to cracking can lead
to fuel leaks and spillage. General weakening and corrosion mean that older cars
often can not withstand the impact of accidents enough to keep their passengers
- Collisions with fixed objects. 20% of car accident fatalities occur when a
car drifts off the road and hits a fixed object such as a tree, utility pole, or traffic
barrier. These accidents are also more likely to result in engine fires.
- Collisions involving excessive speed.
The NHTSA reports that for every 1,000 cars involved in crashes, about 3 involve fires.
While this is a good statistic, showing that engine fires are not common, the agency also
adds that this number rises to 26 out of every 1,000 when all fatal crashes are considered.
This is proof of the severity of engine fires. They happen quickly and spread quickly as
well, often leave the occupants of a car trapped and unable to escape.
However, fires can occur in any car accident, with any type of car. Manufacturing
defects can result in problems with the gas tank, the fuel line, the fuel pump, or in the
siphoning device, all of which can leak fuel and cause a spark to ignite and begin a fire.
Because the car contains all the crucial evidence in a post-collision fires, it is important
that you contact an attorney immediately. After a fire the car will continue to degrade
quickly. In order for us to represent your rights to the best of our ability, we will need to
be able to consider every aspect of the accident scene.
Of course you and the others involved should receive immediate medical attention, but if
possible you should obtain the contact information of any witnesses that might be able to
speak to the exact nature of the accident and the fire.
The attorneys at Kirkendall Dwyer LLP have the resources to resolve your post-collision
fire case. From the investigation to hospital bills, we will help you through this difficult