Despite what some recent sensationalized news stories would have you believe, car fires are exceedingly rare in the U.S. In fact, according to reporting from Car and Driver, there are only about 117,000 of them each year. Still, your odds of dying or suffering a catastrophic injury in a vehicle fire are not exactly zero.
How you behave in the immediate aftermath of a car, truck or SUV fire may save your life. Here are some steps to take if your vehicle bursts into flames during a car accident or at any other time.
Turn off the engine
While it may seem like common sense to turn off your vehicle’s engine during a fire, you may not be thinking clearly. Nevertheless, by switching your car’s ignition to its off position, you help to contain sparks, explosions, excess heat and fumes.
Plan your exit
You do not want to exit your burning fire into an equally or more dangerous situation. Consequently, you should plan your exit by looking for a safe place to land. You should also pick a secure spot that is at least 100 feet away to wait for emergency responders.
Evacuate yourself first
If you have children or other passengers in your vehicle, you should resist the temptation to help them first. By unbuckling your seat belt and exiting your car, truck or SUV, you are in a much better position to rescue everyone else.
Even if you manage to survive a vehicle fire or escape with treatable injuries, those you love the most may not be so fortunate. Ultimately, to help you through the roughest-yet part of your life, you may be eligible for personal injury compensation or even reimbursement for your wrongful death damages.