Chances of car fires increase in summer, AAA says

As the temperature rises, so does the chance of your vehicles catching on fire, AAA Mid-Atlantic warned drivers this week.

A 2013 report by the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency found car fires tend to peak during the summer season.

That could be due to more people taking road trips during the summer, plus the season’s high temperatures.

The FEMA report says 28 percent of vehicle fires on the nation's highways occur over the summer, reaching their highest level in July.

Officials with AAA Mid-Atlantic said collisions and overturns only account for 4 percent of vehicle fires. Two-thirds of car fires are the result of mechanical and electrical failure or malfunctions.

“Motorists should have their vehicles inspected routinely and repaired right away if mechanical or electrical failures or malfunctions are detected, particularly as many are driving older cars,” AAA Mid-Atlantic spokeswoman Ragina Cooper-Averella said in a news release.  

An average of 17 car fires are reported per hour across the United States, according to the National Fire Protection Association. These fires killed an average of four people every week.

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