What should you do if your car catches on fire?

On Behalf of | Jan 6, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Even if you have never had or witnessed one, vehicle fires are too common in the U.S. In fact, according to reporting from Car and Driver, there are nearly 120,000 of them in any given year. Accordingly, as a responsible motorist, you should have a plan to deal with vehicle fires.

It is important to note that a vehicle fire might cause you to panic so, you might want to think through or even practice your response strategy. Here are some tips.

Turn off your car’s engine

Most car fires happen after collisions, so your car might not still be in motion. If it is, however, you should stop as quickly as safely as you can. Then, turn off your car’s engine to stop gasoline from continuing to pump into it.

Exit your vehicle

If your car is on fire, it is not safe to remain inside it. Therefore, you should exit the vehicle and help all of your passengers to get free. Do not try to retrieve personal items from the car, though. Next, move to a safe spot away from moving traffic. It is generally advisable to move at least 50 feet away from the roadway.

Call for help

You should not attempt to extinguish a major vehicle fire on your own, as your car might explode and seriously injure or kill you. Calling 911 is a much better idea. Until emergency responders arrive, you also should tell your passengers and passersby to stay far away from your burning car.

Even if you do everything correctly, you might not be able to escape a car fire unscathed. Ultimately, if one leaves you with burns or other catastrophic injuries, it is advisable to explore your legal options promptly.