Car Fire Related Incidents Cause Over 300 Deaths

Car FiresPost Date January 15, 2013 – Regardless if you are a driver or passenger while driving down the highway, car fires are a daily occurrence.  A study preformed between 2008 to 2010 indicates nearly 200,000 car fire incidents occur each year on the streets and highways across the United States of America. Street and Highway Vehicle Fires (2008-2010) showed that these car fires account for about 14 percent of fire incident responses from Fire Departments nationwide.  Even more serious, these same car fires resulted to in over 300 deaths and over 1,000 injuries.   Car fire damage and property loss exceeded one billion dollars.

Car Fires are responsible for many deaths

Aside from cars and SUV’s, the report also included in its statistics regarding fires which involved agricultural, construction and cars used for business. The report uncovered a number of  interesting which effect both Personal and business auto insurance companies.

• 86% of highway vehicle fires involved passenger vehicles.
• 61 % of highway vehicle fires have originated from within the vehicle’s engine, running gear or its wheel area.
• 35 % of the highway vehicle fires were fatal.
• Mechanical break-down is the leading contributing factor to the ignition of car fires along highways, comprising nearly 50% of the total number of incidents.
• The most common items that first ignite in highway car fires are flammable liquids within the engine area, and insulation around the vehicle’s electrical wiring.
• Around 32% of all highway car fires had an unintentional cause.
• 23 % of the fires were attributed to heat source or equipment failure.
• 7% of fires were reported to be intentional.

Most of highway car fires happen in the afternoon and evening hours.  There also a big spike of car fires in the summer time when the weather increases the tempature of cars and trucks.


Michael E. Dortch
President &  Senior Agent
Corporate Home Office
618 South Broad Street
Lansdale, Pennsylvania  19446
(800) 807-0762  ext. 206