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How often do cars catch on fire?

You see it in the movies constantly: cars crashing and then bursting into flames or exploding. On one hand, it makes sense. Cars are filled with gasoline, a very flammable and explosive form of fuel.

On the other hand, of course, it's not as if you see burning cars every time you drive to the store. Is this actually common, or is it something that is just perpetuated by the media and the entertainment industry?

It's a little bit of both. Yes, cars do not catch on fire as often or as dramatically as the movies would suggest.

That being said, the risk is real. One study found that over 150,000 vehicles caught on fire, on average, every year from 2006 to 2010. To put it in terms that are a bit easier to grasp, that means that about 17 car fires happened every hour.

The study was used as a way to push back against concerns that Tesla's battery-powered cars were dangerous because of fire risks. As shown, all cars have a significant amount of risk.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the movies and real life, in this regard, is that there are not nearly as many fatalities as fires, suggesting that most fires are very minor. On average, 209 people lost their lives every year in these accidents, which is far less than one per day.

That's only looking at fatalities, however. Burn injuries can still be very severe and even life-changing. With so many One Statistic Shows Why Everyone Needs To Relax About The Recent Tesla Fires," Alex Davies, accessed May 23, 2017

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