Field Investigation of Motor Vehicle Collision-Fires 1999-01-0088
Since Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 301 was first issued in 1967, many studies of collision-fires have been conducted. Most of the studies were analyses of motor vehicle crash databases providing little detailed information as to likely fuels involved in ignition, ignition sources, propagation paths and times, and injury mechanisms.
This paper presents the results of case studies and preliminary findings from on-going investigations of motor vehicle collisions involving fire. Twenty one field investigations of incidents involving automobiles, pickup trucks, vans and sport utility vehicles were conducted. Three incidents have been selected for presentation to demonstrate program methodology and characteristic factors of collision-fires.
Results showed that the causes and severities of collision-related fires can vary widely and depend on numerous and complex factors. Field investigations can provide a perspective usually unavailable to fire researchers. The causes of and potential for fire and injury may be characterized through field studies, where the importance of many details in real world events can be weighed.