Limousine Fire that Killed Bride Serves as Important Safety Reminder By Tod Aronovitz | 05/09/13 | 0 Comment

Concerns about escaping vehicle fires have been brought to the forefront following the limousine fire that killed five women and injured an additional four in San Francisco on May 4.  Although that tragic accident does not fit the overall pattern of vehicle fires in general, the event demonstrates a need for passengers to know what to do during a vehicle fire incident.

Potential fire danger signs include: cracked or loose wiring or electrical problems; a fuse that blows more than once; oil or fluid leaks; oil cap not secured; and rapid changes in engine temperature, fuel or fluid levels.

Maintaining proper vehicle maintenance, in accordance with federal and local safety requirements, is an important safety precaution for passenger protection.

Before renting a limousine, customers can check regulating agencies to verify that the limousine carrier is licensed and that the company has liability insurance.  They can also ask to inspect the car they are renting.

In Florida, limousine regulation is at local levels through county or city licensing offices.  In Miami, limousine services are regulated by Miami-Dade County. Drivers must have a for-hire chauffeur registration, and vehicles must be inspected. All entities providing limousine service are required to have a for-hire license and each vehicle must have an operating permit. For more information, visit http://www.miamidade.gov/business/licenses/limousine.asp.

Background on Vehicle Fires

Mechanical and electrical issues are the most common causes of vehicle fires, which accounted for 16 percent of all fires in the U.S. during 2011, according to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA). In that year, there were 219,000 vehicle fires, causing 300 deaths and 1,190 injuries. In 1988, there were 459,000 vehicle fires, which caused 800 deaths and 2,750 injuries. Three out of every 5 vehicle fire deaths occur during collisions or overturns, the NFPA reports.

In addition, a U.S. Fire Administration report found that from 2008 through 2010:

  • Approximately one in seven fires responded to by fire departments across the nation was a highway vehicle fire, not including the tens of thousands of fire department responses to highway vehicle accident sites.
  • Unintentional action was the leading cause of highway vehicle fires at 32%.
  • 86% of highway vehicle fires occurred in passenger vehicles.
  • 61% of highway vehicle fires and 35% of fatal highway vehicle fires originated in the engine, running gear or wheel area of the vehicle.
  • The leading factor contributing to the ignition of highway vehicle fires was mechanical failure (44%).
  • Insulation around electrical wiring (28%) and flammable liquids in the engine area (18 %) were the most common items first ignited in highway vehicle fires.
  • 57% of fatal vehicle fires were the result of a collision.

ARONOVITZ LAW: Representing Consumers in Personal Injury Cases

The Miami personal injury law firm of ARONOVITZ LAW pursues justice for citizens across Florida who have been injured by the wrongful actions or omissions of another individual, government agency, or corporation. We can assist you with civil litigation, consumer class action litigation, whistleblower cases, medical malpractice, product liability, and wrongful death.

Contact Miami personal injury attorney Tod Aronovitz for a confidential discussion of your case.