A Driving Instructor's Blog

Car goes bangWe’re near the end of 2019, and we have a last minute entry for the 2019 Darwin Awards.

A bloke in Halifax was parked up outside some shops and bars. He’d been spraying air freshener inside his car, and when he’d finished he decided to light a cigarette.

Although aerosol cans used to use non-flammable CFCs, these were banned because of the damage they were said to do to the Ozone Layer, and many modern air fresheners use compressed air as the propellent instead. But quite a few still don’t. Of those that don’t, they usually use liquefied propane or butane – both of which are used as heating gases because they burn. Consequently, the ejected aerosol from such an air freshener is flammable. Indeed, in an enclosed space, it is explosive. And our erstwhile Darwin candidate discovered this through practical application of these properties.

In the enclosed space of his car, with a high concentration of flammable gas present, as he struck his lighter or match the gas ignited and – in the enclosed environment – became explosive. It blew out his windows. Looking at the picture, it also nearly blew off the roof and all four doors. The explosion damaged the windows of nearby shops.

Luckily, he only sustained minor injuries, so we can admit that it is funny without upsetting anyone who matters.

Update 23/12/2019: It’s been in some of the newspapers today. He did sustain some burns, though I wouldn’t go as far as The Sun in describing them as “horrendous”.

But the funniest part is that in the photos he has a really surprised look on his face. I’m sure that will wear off in time.

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