When you drive, you probably understand you have some risk of sustaining a serious injury in a traffic accident. While you may expect to suffer a traumatic brain injury, whiplash or broken bones, you may not fully comprehend your burn risk.
Vehicle fires are probably more common than you may think. In fact, according to estimates from the National Fire Protection Association, there were 212,500 vehicle fires in the U.S. in 2018 alone. That year, vehicle fires caused 560 deaths and 1,500 injuries. Fortunately, with just three simple actions, you can likely boost your chances of surviving a vehicle fire.
1. Carry a fire extinguisher
Even if you are not in a remote area when a vehicle fire ignites, firefighters may take minutes or longer to respond. If you have a fire extinguisher in your vehicle, though, you may be able to stop the blaze before it seriously injures someone.
2. Assess fire risk
Sometimes, remaining inside a vehicle after a crash is the right course of action. If the vehicle bursts into flames, though, staying inside may put your life at risk. Accordingly, after any car accident, immediately assess fire danger. If it is moderate or high, exit the vehicle and move to safety.
3. Obey speed limits
While vehicle fires can happen in any car accident, they are more common in catastrophic ones. Driving a reasonable speed is often an effective way to control the severity of a motor vehicle accident.
Consequently, every time you drive, obey posted speed limits. If weather, road or traffic conditions make these speed limits unsafe, reduce your speed until conditions improve.