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How often do cars catch on fire after a crash?

On Behalf of | Apr 18, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

If you watch movies, it seems like cars almost always catch on fire after an accident. Even after minor accidents, fires may break out. After major accidents, cars can explode or dramatically burn to the ground. It seems like they’re incredibly dangerous and that fires are common.

To some degree, this does make sense, since internal combustion engines carry very flammable fuel and an accident could cause sparks. There’s also evidence that electric vehicles (EVs) will catch on fire because the batteries can be highly flammable, and these fires are difficult to put out.

However, you may never have actually seen a car fire in your life. Even if you have, it probably hasn’t happened often. This shows you that it’s not nearly as common as portrayed in the movies, but how often does it occur?

Accidents only cause about 5% of fires

The thing is that car fires happen for many different reasons. Studies have found that only about 5% of car fires come from accidents. It’s still a very uncommon situation. It does happen, but odds are that most people will never experience this in their life.

Additionally, even those who have experienced a car fire were probably not involved in an accident. Maybe there was an electrical problem and the car caught fire in the garage. Maybe they had the car in the shop and a mechanic made a mistake. Other reasons for fires are vastly more common than crashes.

Have you been injured in an accident?

That said, although car accidents may not always be as violent as shown on TV, they do lead to an incredible amount of injuries and roughly 40,000 fatalities every year. Those who have been injured or who have lost loved ones need to know about all of their legal options.