There are many reasons why a vehicle may ignite during or immediately after a crash. One of the primary reasons is that the fuel tank ruptures and sparks from the crash ignite the fuel, causing the fire. Poor maintenance can also lead to a car fire. Design defects may also lead to a car catching fire, but these are typically caught before they can become too widespread. Another potential cause of a vehicle catching fire is the battery, particularly the batteries in electric and hybrid vehicles, which may be prone to catching fire, specifically after accidents.
Newsweek reports on a street sweeper that caught fire after rear-ending a dump truck. 44-year-old Darwin Gordon Phillips was operating a street sweeper at about 8:42 a.m. on May 28th. He was just north of Interstate 4 on Old Garde Road when he slammed into the back of a dump truck. The street sweeper then caught fire and Phillips was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Peterbilt dump truck was taken to the hospital for minor injuries.
The Florida State Patrol report indicates that Jason Lee Davis, the driver of the dump truck, had stopped his vehicle to turn left into Hilochee Wildlife Management Area when Phillips crashed into the back of his truck. Davis was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash and alcohol was not believed to have been a factor.