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Car fires are not that frequent, to be sure, but you still have to be prepared for anything on the road when you have signed up to be a driver.

There were about 181,500 reported highway fires in 2018, according to Statista. That is low or high, depending on how you want to look at it. But knowing what to do should it happen can save lives or at least prevent injuries.

Being alert while driving can help you arrest the situation before it is too late because you smell something burning and react in time even before you see the fire itself. A car catching fire on the road is almost the same as a car breaking down as you drive.

What Causes Car Fires?

What to Do and Not Do if Your Car Catches Fire

Some car fires result from collisions, but most of the fires are caused by technical problems associated with the car’s electrical wiring, problems with the fuel system, or, in some odd cases, a cigarette left burning in the car.

If your car catches fire, do not conclude too quickly that it’s from the engine. Fire can start even from under your car, close to the brakes and wheels. Fire can start in your dashboard. Fires starting inside the car are most dangerous because of your closeness to the flames, smoke, or fumes.

Car fires are generally preventable if you practice the laid down safety measures. It would help if you always practiced safe driving and regularly service your car.

Who Is More Likely To Experience A Car Fire?

A new driver fresh from a driving school is more likely to experience car fire than an experienced driver. These inexperienced drivers are mostly teenagers, although even older people are at risk of experiencing the same.

How Can You Tell Your Car May Catch Fire?

There are clear potential fire warning signs to watch for. These include:

So, What Do You Do When Your Car Catches Fire?

What to Do and Not Do if Your Car Catches Fire

Should your car catch fire, remain calm. Why? If you are driving and the sight of the fire should shock you out of your wits, you are likely to end up with a bigger problem: causing a fatal accident. Trying to be calm is the only safe starting point.

Your car catching fire and starting to burn can be terrifying; seeing smoke and flames rolling out of the hood is something we should only see in the movies.

However, you still have to act quickly in your calmness:

Why should you stand far away when your car is burning? It’s because the danger is not just the fire but also the accompanying fumes or toxic smoke that is harmful when excessively inhaled. The car may also explode, and the impact could be devastating.

Things You Should NOT Do When Your Car Catches Fire:

However, if you have a fire extinguisher, you may slightly open the hood and spray the fire extinguisher while standing from a safe distance.

Things To Do After The Car Fire Has Been Put Out:

What to Do and Not Do if Your Car Catches Fire

Wrapping It Up

When your car catches fire, your priority is your and the passengers’ safety. While you should do all you can to see if you can contain the fire, do not put yourself at high risk because a burning car can explode when you least expect it to.

While your insurance company will compensate you for the car losses if you have a comprehensive car insurance policy, the policy cannot recover lost lives or severe fire burns. That’s why you should aim to protect what is hard to recover if lost or seriously damaged: lives.

Pierre Paul Driving School is located in Brooklyn, New York. You can join us if you want to learn to drive.