At some point in your life, you may run out of gasoline while you are driving your car. When this happens, most people fill their gas tank up with the red plastic gas cans. But are these actually safe to carry around in your vehicle? What about if it is empty? We will look at these different situations in this article.
An empty gas can may not be safe to keep in your vehicle because of the fumes emitted, and it not being emptied all of the way. According to CNBC, the gas vapor mixtures can explode inside these portable red containers and may cause significant injury to those in the vehicle.
A study by Worcester Polytechnic Institute shows that even a low level of gasoline inside the can has potential to create an explosion when it comes into contact with a spark or a flame. The vapor around the outside of the containers causes a flashback inside the gas can, and that mixture can cause an explosion.
Another potential danger of transporting gasoline in your vehicle is illnesses due to inhalation. Gas contains carbon monoxide, which can give you headaches, nausea, and flulike symptoms. Prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide can make you extremely ill, so it is best not to keep a full or empty gas can in your vehicle.
If you absolutely must carry a gas can, whether full or empty, tie the can up right to the top of your vehicle on the car rack. This area is well ventilated, and fumes will not accumulate inside of the vehicle. Be sure to tie down the gas can tightly so it does not or spill gasoline on the top of your vehicle.
Another thing to remember is to never fill a gas can that is located in the bed of a truck or inside the trunk of a vehicle. When filling the gas can, place it on the ground at a safe distance from people and vehicles.
Do not drive with an empty or full gas can in your vehicle, even if it is located in your trunk. You will be exposed to the fumes and it is a potential fire hazard. If you absolutely need to transport a gas can, tie it to the roof rack of your vehicle and make sure it is empty.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Is it Safe to Drive With a Gas Can In Your Car? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.