A Tuesday morning car fire made officials close both the eastbound and westbound lanes of Antelope Dr. in Layton. An article on Fox13.com reported that the closure only affected a section of Antelope Dr. The Utah Department of Transportation said the fire occurred at 1700 W. and Antelope Dr. just before 9:00 a.m. The cause of the fire has not been reported.
There are few sights on the road that can prompt more concern and worry than a car that has caught fire. The phenomenon that seems to be common in movies is actually not very common in real life, and because of this, when it happens, it can be a grave concern. As mentioned, the cause of the specific car fire reported above is not known at this time. But there is hardly a single cause for any given car fire. As reported by howsuffworks.com, it is usually a combination of things that spark the blaze. For example, human error, mechanical issues, and chemical problems might be to blame. Learning how to prevent a car fire, along with many of its leading causes can help you be a safer driver and avoid a severe catastrophe in the first place.
- Maintenance Issues. Failing to keep up-to-date on the maintenance of your vehicle can be a contributing factor in car fires. Occasional check-ups on your car can avert potentially dangerous conditions. For example, a mechanic can point out possible fluid leaks, bad gaskets, fraying wires, etc. Nipping these problems in the bud can help you avoid something terrible.
- Car Accidents. Unfortunately, car crashes have been known to spark car fires. Certain areas of a car are known as the “crumple zones.” These zones, according to crashtest.org, are the areas where “the energy of the impact is absorbed and reduced, thus preventing it from being transmitted to the occupants and keeping the passengers safe during accident[s].” Generally speaking, when the crumple zone of a car is hit, this does not result in a car fire. However, if flammable materials such as gasoline and oil leak from the engine, the heat, and sparks that could result from the impact of two vehicles can ignite the car.
- Certain Electric Batteries. It’s not just the Samsung Galaxy battery that can cause a fire. On March 23 of this year, a 38-year-old man was driving a Tesla Model X when he rammed headfirst into a highway median in Mountain View, California. According to Livescience.com, the car caught fire and burned on the freeway for over 5 hours. Although many people believe that electric batteries are more likely to start a fire, the limited available data shows that electric batteries are not more prone to fires, but that the lithium-ion batteries can fuel hotter fires that are more difficult to extinguish.
- Overheated Engines. As noted on howstuffworks.com, the engine of a car will probably not get hot enough to start a fire on its own. However, the engine can overheat causing the internal fluids to leak onto other hot engine parts. When this happens, these fluids can ignite. In 2012, Ford Motor Company had to recall many vans for this very problem. Defects resulting in car fires can make a company liable if they have not issued a formal recall.
Car fires can happen, however, understanding some of the common causes of car fires, can help you in preventing them. If you have been the victim of a car fire that has caused an accident, speak with The Advocates Law Firm. We can help you know if someone is liable.