Growing concern for the environment has sparked a surge in electric vehicle purchases. However, many dangers can come from these types of vehicles, particularly in the event of an accident.
Electric vehicles pose unique hazards beyond crashes between gas-powered vehicles. If you have been hurt in an accident with an electric vehicle, speak with lawyers to claim compensation for your injuries and damages.
Why Are Electric Vehicles Dangerous in a Crash?
There are quite a few reasons that electric vehicles are a greater danger when involved in an accident.
No Warning for Pedestrians
Pedestrians should certainly watch the roadway before attempting to cross at an intersection. Gas-powered vehicles generally make enough sound to announce their presence, though electric vehicles operate silently. Even the most astute pedestrian may not hear one approach. While new rules are being put into action to make them emit some type of audible warning when traveling at lower speeds, many of these vehicles still lack this safety feature.
Electric vehicles also weigh more than their gas counterparts because of their battery packs. When one is involved in a car accident, it will hit with greater force. It’s harder to stop and maneuver too for these reasons. If you are in an accident with an electric vehicle, it may cause more damage to your vehicle and a greater risk of serious injury because of the added weight.
Issues with Autopilot Features
While many people are excited about autopilot and self-driving features on electric vehicles, they aren’t fully ready for the road. Active crash prevention features can help reduce crashes, but with the general public lacking information on how to properly use them, it results in dangerous accidents.
Some people assume they can take a nap while the autopilot is engaged. In other instances, cars without a person behind the wheel have run off the road. When drivers fully understand these high-tech features in their electric vehicles, it makes the roads far more dangerous for everyone.
Perhaps the biggest concern regarding the dangers of electric vehicles revolves around their batteries. They have a greater risk of fires and explosions. Any gas-powered car can explode on impact, though the risks are mitigated through shutoff valves, reinforcements, and other safety measures.
Since electric vehicles use lithium-ion batteries, they are prone to overheating and spontaneous explosions. In an accident, if the battery components become damaged, they can cause the car to go up in flames. Additionally, batteries that have burned or incurred serious damage may hold onto heat for days after a crash and then re-ignite.
Lack of First Responder Training to Properly Respond to Electric Vehicle Crashes
First responders have been trained for decades on how to handle car fires. Now they must learn how to deal with these situations involving electric vehicles. It takes much more time and effort to extinguish an electric vehicle that’s on fire. Since they also have the potential to catch fire again while sitting in salvage yards, they also pose huge risks to the environment by adding more toxic emissions.
Damaged batteries may also create an unsafe voltage that runs through the vehicle. This creates a greater risk for electrocutions. These risks and unfamiliarity with how to safely handle a serious auto accident that involves an electric vehicle make them dangerous during an accident.
What to Do in an Accident Involving an Electric Car
After any accident, it’s important to take the right steps to protect yourself, your passengers, and your legal rights. This means you should call 911 to not only report the accident but to also get medical assistance.
If you drive an electric vehicle or the other driver is in one, let emergency responders know. While making assumptions is rarely advised, when you are in an accident with an electric car, it’s best to assume it’s still fully powered even after the crash.
Make sure you capture as much evidence as you can if possible. You should also contact an attorney who specializes in car accidents as they can help protect your rights and negotiate your compensation.
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