There are a number of reasons why a car can catch on fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 49 percent of all car fires result from a mechanical failure. Approximately 23 percent of all vehicle fires involve an electrical failure or malfunction and three percent result from a crash or a rollover accident. The majority of fatal vehicles fires (58 percent) occur as a result of car crashes and not due to mechanical or electrical failures.
According to the NFPA, there were 184,500 vehicle fires in the year 2010. In those accidents, 285 civilians were killed and 1,440 were injured. In the year 2009, 190,500 vehicle fires resulted in 260 fatalities and 1,455 injuries. Between the years 2003 and 2007, an average of 287,000 vehicle fires resulted in the death of 480 civilians and 1,525 injuries.
Victims of car fires may suffer devastating first-, second-, or third-degree burns to their skin. These types of fires occur very quickly and there is often not enough time to escape. If the victim was hurt in the crash, he or she may be incapable of exiting the vehicle before getting burned. Skin burn injuries can result in a loss of feeling, permanent scarring, and permanent disfigurement.
A fire alone is not the cause of serious injuries or death. All motor vehicles contain synthetic materials that can produce harmful gases as they burn. Victims can suffer devastating injuries to their lungs and eyes after only moments of being exposed to toxic fumes. Burning vehicles can also cause laceration injuries if the vehicle explodes and engine parts can shoot deadly shrapnel if the vehicle explodes like a grenade. When a vehicle is at risk of exploding, anyone in the area is in danger of suffering a serious injury.
The reputed burn injury attorneys in Oklahoma City at Maples Law Firm handle all types of car accident claims. If you have been injured in an Oklahoma car accident, please contact us at (888) 226-6159 for a free and comprehensive consultation.