Trucks are Twice as Likely to Catch Fire After an Accident
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) large truck accident causation study, trucks are twice as likely to catch fire after an accident. There are many reasons trucks might catch fire as the result of an accident, or in causing one. Truck fires can even happen when the vehicles are parked.
While we don’t know the exact cause of the semi-truck fire that caused the deadly accident on the highway to the Florida Keys, we do know the common reasons for truck fires and how to prevent them. At Truck.Law we are dedicated to educating the public on these hazards.
Semi-Truck Fire Closes Highway to Florida Keys
On December 5, a semi-truck flipped onto its side and caught fire. The accident occurred on Northbound US 1 Highway and blocked traffic in both lanes. The truck fire stopped traffic going into and out of the Florida Keys, as well as affecting trash service in the area.
There was just one death in the truck fire, although the report from Channel 10 did not reveal if it was the truck driver or another motorist. The accident led to severe traffic congestion which could have led to additional motor vehicle accidents.
What Causes Truck Fires After an Accident?
While we don’t know the exact reason this truck caught fire, there are some common reasons for truck fires. Penske reports that the most common causes of truck fires have been determined by the Technology and Maintenance Council of the American Trucker’s Association.
The four most common causes of truck fires are:
- Brakes dragging and throwing sparks
- Wheel bearings lacking lubrication and throwing sparks
- Air leaks
- Tires bursting and catching fire
Tires and diesel fuel are the most common flammable materials that catch fire as a result of the above four causes of truck fires. However, cargo can sometimes be very flammable as well.
Can Truck Fires Be Prevented?
Most truck fires are preventable with proper maintenance. Tire Business reported on the findings of the Technology and Maintenance Council in 2021. Dragging brakes or brakes that are not adjusted properly are the most common cause of truck fires, and are completely preventable with proper maintenance and pre-trip inspections.
Wheel-bearing fires are always caused by a lack of lubrication, which can be addressed in pre-trip inspections and maintenance as well. Tire Business reports that tire technicians also have a large responsibility to prevent truck fires, by checking the bearings and ensuring hubs are lubricated.
Who Is Liable for a Truck Fire?
Truck accidents are complex, and it can be difficult to determine the liable party for a truck accident. In the case of truck fires, the accident could be the fault of the maintenance technicians who serviced the vehicle.
It is important to have an attorney experienced in truck accidents to help determine the cause of the accident, and in turn who is liable. If an accident was caused by the negligence of the driver but the truck fire was a result of maintenance failures, more than one party may be liable in the accident.
Connect with a Truck.Law Attorney Today
If you have been in a truck accident, you need an attorney experienced in these personal injury cases. Truck accidents are more complex than other motor vehicle accidents, and you should not attempt to work with insurance companies on your own.
The attorneys at Truck.Law specialize in truck accidents and can assist you with your claim. Contact us today to be matched with a truck accident attorney in your area.