Fuel oil fires account for about 10 percent of all commercial truck driver fatalities.
Diesel fuel is hard to ignite and big rig fires used to be rare. But modern electronic engines – especially those with new emissions regulations – tend to run hotter fuel back to the tank. The standard temperature of fuel being returned to a tank used to be around 140 degrees, but the average today is more like 200 degrees or hotter. Fuel at this temperature is easier to ignite, creating a greater risk of fire hazard in the event of a crash.
The “flash point” for diesel fuel is 144 degrees F. Fuel temperatures above this are hazardous.
Two of the major problems leading to fires are big exposed tanks and a battery box located close to the tank. Shorted out batteries can ignite fuel spray from a damaged tank. Exposed lines also pose a danger. Unless they are all water lines, something inside them may be flammable, especially if it’s hot diesel oil.
It is recommended that all fluid lines be contained inside the frame rails, in the recess if possible. Many school buses use tank guards as an added protection against rupture or other damage.
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If you or a loved one has suffered injury as a result of commercial vehicle accident, or if you have suffered the death of a loved one resulting from a commercial vehicle accident, you may have a claim against the manufacturer of the truck cab.
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