Reduce the risk of explosion by inspecting CNG vehicles after every accident
Compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel systems have been featured in public transportation vehicles for decades, due to CNG’s affordable pricing and low emissions. CNG is also relatively common as a fuel source for big rig trucks, step-vans, and school buses. While CNG is not as common for light-duty cars, vans, and pickup trucks, some options do exist. This includes the Honda Civic Natural Gas as well as CNG versions of the Chevy Savana vans, Ford Transit vans, and Chevy Silverado 2500, Dodge Ram 2500, and Ford F250 pickup trucks.
With more CNG vehicles on the roadways, it’s important to understand the risks that CNG may present in the event of an accident and how those risks should be managed.
The Risk of CNG Explosions
Like gasoline, CNG is flammable and could cause an explosion. However, unlike gasoline, CNG is under pressure in the fuel tank, which means that an explosion may be more powerful.
CNG vehicle manufacturers have taken many precautions to protect against CNG explosions. For example, compressed natural gas fuel storage tanks are generally stronger and safer than gasoline and diesel tanks, which reduces the risk of accidental release, contamination, and combustion in the event of an accident. In addition, compressed natural gas disperses rather quickly into the air which reduces the risk of fire and ground contamination.
Check Your Vehicle After Every Accident
Any accident, no matter how minor, as the potential to damage key parts of the CNG system that could leave the vehicle at risk for a CNG explosion. Therefore, it is important to check the vehicle carefully after any type of accident. Even something as minor as running over a curb or debris on the road could cause damage to the cylinders that hold the compressed natural gas, which are located underneath the vehicle.
In the event of an accident involving a CNG vehicle, it’s important to check for specific things.
- Did the accident cause damage to the body or chassis of the vehicle that is close to where the CNG cylinders are housed?
- Are the cylinder covers damaged or compromised in any way?
- Are the fuel lines damaged or is there damage near the fuel lines?
- Did the accident damage a battery near the cylinders? Remember, battery acid can damage the cylinders.
- Is there any evidence of fire damage near or close to the cylinders?
- Does the vehicle need to be towed?
If any of the above conditions exist after an accident, the vehicle should be towed to a qualified CNG service center for inspection and repair. If the vehicle owner does not get necessary maintenance, and the tank explodes in a future accident, they could be liable.
Why You Should Use a Qualified CNG Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one have been injured in a traffic accident involving a CNG explosion, it is very important to retain an experienced CNG vehicle accident attorney to represent you. Your attorney can help untangle the complicated issues surrounding liability and ensure that appropriate parties are targeted in your personal injury claim. To learn more, contact us at 800-333-0000 today.