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Highway Accidents are Top Cause of Burn Injuries

On February 6, 2013, USA Today reported on a crash on Interstate 16 in Laurens County, Georgia. The crash was a multi-vehicle accident involving more than a dozen cars including a FedEx truck and a tanker truck. Tragically, the accident caused a fire that resulted in four deaths.

Our Atlanta, GA accident attorneys were sad to hear of this tragic collision and of the loss of life that followed. Unfortunately, highway accidents are one of the top causes of fires and burn injuries and many people die each year as a result of fires caused by auto accidents.

The Georgia Auto Accident Fire
The recent Georgia auto accident reported by USA Today actually involved four different crashes. Tragically, at least six of the vehicles caught on fire, and firefighters from multiple departments arrived at the scene to try to handle the blaze.

While the fire originated with the oil tanker, the tanker itself did not explode. The cab of the truck was, however, on fire and the cars immediately surrounding it were ablaze as well. There was extensive smoke. Witnesses who observed the accident commented to USA Today that the accident scene  looked as though it was a war zone.

The fire was a tragic event that made headlines because of its size and the involvement of multiple commercial vehicles. Unfortunately, highway vehicle fires are not uncommon, and thousands occur each year in Georgia and throughout the United States.

Fires Caused by Auto Accidents
While the fire in this recent Georgia accident is believed to have originated from the tanker trunk, any auto accident can cause a fire due to the combustible nature of gasoline in vehicles. In fact, fires are very common when car accidents occur. Fires in cars can also occur for reasons other than accidents and can be just as dangerous.

The US Fire Administration reports on some important statistics related to auto accident fires and burn injuries. According to their data:

  • Approximately one out of every six reported fires starts in a vehicle. However, this figure does not include the many thousands of fires that occur at the site of highway accidents that firefighters are called to fight.
  • 84 percent of the fires that occur in highway vehicles originate in passenger cars.
  • 62 percent vehicle fires that start in cars and 34 percent of fatal highway car fires start in the vehicle's engine.
  • Mechanical failures are the cause of 47 percent of fires where highway vehicles ignite.
  • In 28 percent of highway vehicle fires, insulation around the electrical wiring is cited as the cause of the blaze.
  • In 21 percent of highway vehicle fires, flammable liquids in the engine are the cause of the fire.
  • Collisions cause 57 percent of fatal fires in vehicles.

As these statistics show, fires happen regularly both because of accidents and because of problems with vehicles. In fact, according to The US Fire Administration, an estimated 258,000 fires occurred in highway vehicles annually between 2004 and 2006.

The fires cause billions in losses not to mention extensive pain for those left with disfiguring injuries or for those who lose loved ones in tragic fires.

If you have been injured in an Atlanta car accident, contact Gary Martin Hays & Associates at 1-800-898-HAYS.