Browse Publications Technical Papers 2007-01-0875

Fire Occurrence in Rollover Crashes Based on NASS/CDS 2007-01-0875

This paper uses NASS/CDS 1997-2004 to determine the crash factors that are most frequently associated with rollover fires. Rollover fire cases were analyzed by the NASS variables including vehicle type, fire origin, number of quarter-turns, and final rest position.
Results show that the engine compartment was the most frequent location for the fire origin. The fuel tank was second in this category. The rest position on the roof was most frequently associated with fires in rollovers. However, the fire rate was not strongly influenced by the final rest position. High severity rollovers that involve more than eight quarter-turns or end-over-end motion had fire rates much higher than the average.
An examination of 24 cases with major fires in recent model year vehicles found that impacts prior to the rollover occurred in more than half of the cases. All of the cases with leakage from the fuel tank had impacts prior to the rollover. About half of the rollovers with major fires that originated in the engine compartment were in single vehicle rollovers without prior impacts. No motor fuel leakage was observed in most of these fires.


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