What Causes a Car to Catch Fire in an Accident?
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Why Do Vehicles Sometimes Catch on Fire in Accidents?

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Why Do Vehicles Sometimes Catch on Fire in Accidents?


Today’s vehicles are designed and built with safety measures and parts that can reduce the risk of fires and other serious dangers, especially those that can occur during car accidents. However, fires can still occur. Read on to learn about some of the most common causes of car fires so you can keep your vehicle well maintained and avoid a fire in an accident, brought to you by the professionals at Altra Insurance Services, the premier providers of auto insurance San Diego drivers trust for reliable, high-quality service.

Faulty Wiring

A vehicle collision can cause loose wires to spark, resulting in a fire. Even the most minor incident could lead to electrical shocks and fires that damage the vehicle entirely and potentially cause burns and other medical issues for drivers and passengers. Monitor your vehicle for electrical problems such as faulty wiring. Some warning signs include a flickering dashboard, interior, or exterior lights or an abrupt loss of vehicle power from time to time. 

Other warning signs include a burning smell inside the car and the failure of electrical components such as onboard screens and power windows. Having a professional identify and fix these wiring problems could lower the risk of injuries and other serious issues, including fires due to car accidents.

Exploding Car Battery

Keeping a car battery near a heat source can lead to an explosion. A short circuit in the battery is often one of the reasons it catches fire following a car accident. Although the impact of an incident cannot be predetermined, keeping your car in a cool place is always beneficial. Parking in warmer areas for long periods can overheat your battery and increase the risk that it will catch fire following a collision. It’s also necessary to have your battery checked regularly and replaced as required.

Leaky Fluids

Almost all vehicles require fluids to run effectively and efficiently. Without sufficient oil, your car won’t perform correctly, and certain parts could break down and put you in danger. Monitor your fluids regularly to identify leaks, and make sure to have any leaks repaired and missing fluids replaced. 

A car crash could result in a fire even if your automobile has sufficient fluids. For example, the impact of a collision could make dents or holes in some of the car’s components and cause fluids to leak from your vehicle. Those fluids can drip onto hot auto parts, such as the exhaust system or engine, igniting a fire. One of the best ways to prevent this danger is to use a high-mileage oil blend or an additive product designed to stop leaks.

Crash Impact

This is the most common cause of a fire due to a car accident. Although most automotive manufacturers take time to design vehicles that can withstand car crashes or the triggering of an explosion following a collision, fires still occur routinely. A vehicle’s motor can catch fire following an accident, especially if it was a high-impact collision. The speeds at which the cars are traveling at the time they collide often determine whether fluid spills, overheated parts, or other issues lead to a fire. There’s no sure way to prevent this, but driving safely can help.

If you’re in any kind of vehicle accident, the most important thing is to make sure everyone is safe and gets medical attention right away if it’s needed. Then follow the necessary steps to make sure legal requirements are met and your interests are protected. If you need affordable, reliable auto insurance, reach out to the experienced agents at Altra Insurance Services. We also offer several other types of insurance, including homeowners, renters, and motorcycle insurance. San Diego residents should call us today at (619) 404-6311.

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