At this point, Americans are quite familiar with product liability claims related to automobiles. The Takata air bag scandal is just the latest in a frequent string of recalls for dangerous and defective parts in cars and trucks. Sometimes these defects cause motor vehicle accidents and sometimes they make crashes more likely to be fatal.
It is far rarer to hear about auto accidents caused by defective products that are not actually part of the vehicle. That was apparently the scenario in a recent 18-wheeler accident in the Midwest. According to news sources, the driver of the truck lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a highway guardrail when the e-cigarette he was holding suddenly exploded.
Thankfully, no other vehicles were involved in the crash and the truck driver's crash-related injuries were minor. He did, however, suffer injuries related to the exploding device.
In recent years, e-cigarettes have become an incredibly popular alternative to traditional smoking. This is despite a lack of evidence to support claims that they pose less of a health risk than smoking tobacco products. While this seems to be one of the first reported cases of a crash related to e-cigarettes, there have been other reports of the devices exploding during use. Incidents like this one could lead to personal injury lawsuits, product liability claims and more stringent regulation of these devices.
Although the truck accident occurred in the Midwest, it just as easily could have happened here in California, and with deadlier results. Hopefully, any problems with these apparently dangerous devices will be resolved before such an accident happens again.