Automoible burns still account for a significant portion of hospital burn unit admissions. Despite efforts on the part of the medical community to increase consumer awareness of the dangers associated with regular use and maintenance of vehicles, burns associated with motor vehicles accounted for as much as 10% of all burn admissions to hospitals in 2006. The most common burn injuries associated with vehicles originated with exposure to the radiators and carburetors.
A survey of patients admitted to just one regional burn center in the United States from 1997 through 2003 provided some interesting and informative statistics. Of the 2745 patients admitted to the burn center, 220 had automobile associated injuries. Of those 220 individuals, 184 were men. There were two deaths among the 220 automobile burn victims. Hospital charges amounted to $53,200 to $78,000 per patient. The average hospital stay was 14.8 to 23.6 days.
Although not specifically addressed by this survey, many of those burn injuries associated with automobiles were the unfortunate result of negligence on the part of third parties and/or defective products.