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How can burns happen during a car accident?

On Behalf of | Dec 13, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Car accidents can lead to long-lasting trauma. Among the various injuries that happen during a collision, burns are particularly concerning due to their life-altering consequences.

There are many ways burns occur during a car accident.

Impact and fire

One of the primary reasons is the combination of impact and fire. When vehicles crash into one another, the force of the impact can lead to the rupture of fuel tanks or the release of flammable liquids. In turn, these substances can ignite, resulting in a fire that poses a threat to people in the vehicle.

Fuel spills and ignition

Fuel spills are a common problem in car accidents, especially if the impact damages the fuel system. When fuel leaks onto hot engine components or electrical systems, the risk of ignition greatly increases. The presence of a spark, whether from electrical systems or friction during the collision, can lead to a sudden and intense fire.

Vehicle design and safety features

The design of a vehicle plays a big role in determining the likelihood and severity of burns in a car accident. In accidents involving older models or those without advanced safety features, the chances of burns may be higher.

Exit challenges

Where people sit in a vehicle during an accident can influence their vulnerability to burns. Those closer to impact zones or areas prone to fuel leaks may face a higher risk. Additionally, challenges in exiting the vehicle due to malfunctioning doors can increase the likelihood of burns.

Americans dealt with an estimated total of 212,500 vehicle fires in 2018. As technology advances, the automotive industry should continue to prioritize innovations aimed at reducing burns in the unfortunate event of a collision.


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