Most Fuel Fed Fires Are Due to Mechanical or Electrical Failures

Despite what you might see on television or the movies, cars don’t always explode or even catch fire when it collides with something or rolls over. However, when it does happen, in a majority of cases it is not initially caused by a ruptured fuel tank or fuel line. Those occur in only 2% of all automobile fires, although it does account for about 15% of deaths due to fuel fed fires. In fact, the most common cause of fuel fed fires is mechanical and electrical failure or malfunction, accounting for 69% of automobile fires between 2006 and 2010 according to data from the National Fire Incident Reporting System of the US Fire Administration and the National Fire Protection Association.

However, mechanical or electrical failure-caused fuel fed fires account only for a total of 12% of car fire fatalities. Rollovers and collisions, which cause only 4% of all automobile fires in the same period, account for 60% of all deaths in fuel fed fires. This skewed cause-and-effect seems to suggest that during a rollover or collision, fuel fed fires are not the actual cause of death but are rather a side effect of the incident. Mechanical and electrical defects do cause the majority of automobile fires and in all probability many serious injuries that in 12% of the time resulted in death. Of special note are the engine and running gear areas which 69% of the time is where a mechanical or electrical defect occurs or is located.

What does this mean for automobile and parts manufacturers? They have a responsibility to ensure that their products meet safety standards that will prevent or at least not start fuel fed fires in case of collisions or rollovers, especially since these types of incidents will most likely end in deaths. The failure to do so may render them liable for injuries or deaths that occur due to the malfunction or defects of these parts or the car on the whole. It also means that as these cars gain a reputation for being unsafe, people start to realize that they can be quite costly to own. Information on this car accident attorney website indicates that cars that are more dangerous end up being more pricey to keep insured as well.

If you or a family member was involved in a fuel fed accident due to some defect or malfunction, you could have an actionable case. Consult with a fuel fed fire attorney to do your investigation for you and prepare your case if it has merit.

Are SUvs Really More Stable Today?

Rollovers are considered to be more dangerous vehicular accidents as these cause more severe injuries if not death. In the US, about 10,000 individuals are killed every year due to rollover accidents, while more than 24,000 sustain serious injuries. Rollovers are usually caused by aggressive, high-speed driving and reckless lane changes; these can also happen when the vehicle skids or slides sideways (especially when driver turns the vehicle very aggressively), causing the driver to lose control and the vehicle to trip.

A rollover can happen on any type of vehicle, however, taller and narrower ones, like SUVs and vans are more susceptible to it since their center of gravity is farther/higher from the ground compared to ordinary cars; their heavy tops or the weighty items placed on top of these and/or the added weight inside (from baggage and passengers) make the SUV less stable, increasing the risk of a rollover.

To make SUVs and vans much safer and, so, reduce the occurrence of rollovers, manufacturers have introduced the electronic stability control system (ESC) and the static stability factor (SSF) in vehicles; these give vehicles greater stability and drivers, more control.

The ESC enables the vehicle to sense when it skids and then applies a brake on each wheel automatically, keeping the driver from losing control. Its introduction in 2006 in a large number of vehicles and its inclusion in new SUVs as standard equipment in 2010 has made today’s SUVs safer than those made in the past.

Despite the move, SUV rollovers continue to appear in the list of vehicular accidents which register the higher numbers of deaths or severe injuries; this is due to the failure of some SUV manufacturers and aftermarket parts makers to produce vehicles or parts that will withstand the demands of the real world.

For extra safety and stability, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) advises SUV owners to observe the following to help reduce the risk of a rollover accident:

  • Steer clear of conditions (like speeding, drunk-driving, etc.) that will lessen your control of your vehicle
  • Observe extra care, especially on rural roads
  • Avoid panic-like steering, especially when your vehicle goes off-road
  • Make sure your tires are always in good condition and not worn out
  • Load any equipment in your vehicle properly

If you are a victim of an SUV rollover accident, then you have the legal right to pursue justice and receive compensation from the liable party. This compensation may be available from the liable party’s insurance company, as a person generally won’t have the funds to pay your expenses. According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, certain policies include what is called “personal injury protection” that is used for the purpose of protecting yourself from going bankrupt paying someone’s medical expenses after you’ve caused an accident.