Crash and burn? Vehicle, collision, and driver factors that influence motor vehicle collision fires

T. L. Bunn, S. Slavova, M. Robertson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


A retrospective population-based case-control study was performed to determine the association between vehicle fires, and vehicle, collision, and driver factors on highways with a posted speed limit of at least 55 mph. Data were obtained from the Kentucky Collision Report Analysis for Safer Highways (CRASH) electronic files for 2000-2009 from the Kentucky State Police Records Sections. The results from the final multiple logistic regression show that large trucks were at a higher risk for a collision involving a fire than passenger vehicles and pickup trucks. When controlling for all other variables in the model, vehicles 6 years old and older, driving straight down the highway, and single vehicle collisions were also identified as factors that increase the risk of motor vehicle collision fires on roadways with a posted speed limit of ≥55 mph. Of the 2096 vehicles that caught fire, there were 632 (30%) non-fatally injured drivers and 224 (11%) fatally injured drivers. The results of this study have the potential to inform public health messages directed to the transportation industry, particularly semi truck drivers, in regard to fire risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-145
Number of pages6
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
StatePublished - Jul 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are grateful to the Kentucky State Police for supplying the electronic CRASH data for this study. This work was supported by Grant/Cooperative agreement number 2U60OH008483-07 from NIOSH . Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of NIOSH.


  • Fire
  • Injury
  • Passenger vehicles
  • Pickup trucks
  • Semi trucks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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