Earlier this month, a New Jersey resident’s car caught on fire after he rear-ended a tractor trailer on Route 80. The man was driving his car on the right shoulder of the interstate when it collided with the back of a disabled tractor trailer and caught on fire. The collision trapped the man inside the burning car, causing him to suffer serious injuries from the burns. Unfortunately, these types of situations occur more often than you might think.
Reasons for car fires
According to the National Fire Protection Agency, there are over 150,000 car fires each year in the United States. On average, car fires kill over 200 civilians per year and injure around 750 more.
Car fires are caused by different reasons. The most common reasons for a car fire include a car crash, mechanical failure, electrical malfunction, fluid leak or design problem. If your car starts on fire while you are driving, it is important to remain calm, pull over to the side of the road, turn off the ignition, exit the vehicle and walk a safe distance away to call the authorities.
Tools to escape a car fire
Thousands of car accidents occur each day. Many of them result in a fire and you can easily become trapped inside. It is important to prepare for this situation and purchase the following three tools to protect yourself when you are trapped inside of a burning vehicle:
- Window breaking tool- Car windows do not break as easily as regular glass and can become jammed in the event of a car accident. Because of this, it is necessary to purchase a specifically designed car window breaker. A car window breaker is likely your best chance of escaping a burning vehicle.
- Seat belt cutting device- A car crash can sometimes jam your seat belt buckle and prevent it from releasing. This situation causes many people to panic. An easy solution is to purchase a seat belt cutting device, such as knife, which will allow you to quickly slash through your jammed seat belt and any other debris preventing you from escaping. Place this somewhere accessible in your car that children cannot reach.
- Fire protection blanket – If you are not able to cut through your seat belt or escape through a window, a fire protection blanket could be your last defense against a car fire. Purchasing a wool or flame repellent blanket can help protect you from flames as you wait for emergency personal to arrive.
Car fires are not as uncommon as you think. Make sure to have your vehicle checked regularly and purchase the necessary tools to protect you and your family before serious injuries occur.