Any fire can be scary, whether it’s in the forest, home, a car or truck. Commercial truck fires account for a sizeable percentage of fatal fires, even though they are involved in less than 10% of fatal crashes. Research on commercial truck fires is not plentiful; however, the studies that have been done reveal interesting facts and show how many of these fires can be avoided.

What Leads to a Commercial Truck Fire?

According to fire expert Randolph Harris, one of the leading causes of commercial truck fires is an electrical short in the engine compartment. Mr. Harris has investigated over 500 vehicle fires during his career. He has determined that wear of some of the wires can cause a short which can ignite surrounding combustible materials.

The fact that the cabin areas of today’s tractor trailers are much like portable homes means there are a lot of combustibles in this area. The Technology and Maintenance Council (TMC) from the American Trucking Association established a task force to study commercial truck fires.

Their task was to find the causes of these fires and work on solutions. The matter was deemed very important because commercial truck fires these days are much more intense than they were years ago. The TCM’s findings echoed Mr. Harris’ in that they found worn out wiring was the main cause of the majority of these fires.

Another reason a truck may catch fire has to do with replacement components. Aftermarket replacement parts may have a different wiring configuration which could put additional stress on original wires. This can cause a problem with the wire’s insulation. If the exposed wire contacts the grounded metal the resulting arcing could create a fire.

Facts About Commercial Truck Fires

Researchers of truck fires have found that commercial truck fires are more likely to occur following the days after the truck has been involved in a crash. A fire is more than twice as likely to happen within the first 100 days. There is a possibility that repairs to the truck may be responsible for the fire. If repairs are not made or are made improperly, exposed wires could ignite.

The largest trucks on the road have the tendency to have the most fires. The largest trucks also have more fatalities in the fires than any other class of truck.

Newer trucks seem to be more prone to fires than older trucks. When it comes to drivers, younger drivers are more likely to be involved in commercial truck fires than older drivers; however, older drivers are more likely to perish in a truck fire.

Researchers continue to study the issue of commercial truck fires in the hope of finding ways to prevent them and save lives. The law firm of Frohlich, Gordon & Beason, P.A. helps families recover losses through compensation in personal injury cases. We have attorneys who specialize in personal injury law and who stand by clients with care and integrity to get them fair compensation. Contact us for excellence in legal representation for your personal injury case. We proudly serve southwest Florida through our offices in Englewood, North Port, and Port Charlotte.