After a crash, your car is more likely to catch fire than to explode. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), all it takes for a vehicle to burn are extreme temperatures, electrical sparks and leaking fluids.
As a driver, you can save your and your loved ones’ lives by familiarizing yourself with preventive measures to avert a potential car fire.
What to do to prevent your car from burning
Per the NFPA, regular maintenance is the primary way to avoid a car fire. Especially if you have an old or frequently used car, you must coordinate with your mechanic about checking your car’s engine oil, coolant, fuel lines, and brake or power steering fluids. Doing so can help you address possible leaks that can ignite a fire.
Aside from periodic inspections, you must also:
- Avoid carrying flammable items: Never store gas cans or propane cylinders in your compartment. However, if you must transport gasoline, only take small amounts in properly sealed containers and ensure ventilation by opening your windows.
- Watch out for grassfires: Do not park close to tall, dry grass that can come in contact with combustible material.
- Observe defensive driving: Heightened attentiveness to your surroundings inside and outside your vehicle can protect you from deadly crashes.
You may be at risk of sustaining catastrophic burns if you become a car fire victim. Depending on your situation, you may also inhale toxic substances that can lead to respiratory complications. These severe injuries often require long-term rehabilitative care. Thus, it is wise to learn how to act if your car is already in flames.
What to do if your car is already burning
If your car is already on fire, pull over and turn off the engine immediately. Then, get out of it as quickly as you can. Also, help your passengers get to safety. You must all move to a secure area. In some cases, you may move a few feet away and use your fire extinguisher. However, calling an emergency response team is always the safer choice. Whether your circumstances result from a car collision or a mechanical failure, your Texas counsel can investigate thoroughly and guide you in pursuing compensation.