Do Electric Cars Pose Additional Hazards During a Crash?
Electric vehicles are quickly growing in popularity across the world. Governments are creating infrastructure plans to bear the weight of charging needs for lithium-ion batteries, and car companies are launching initiatives to ramp up EV production over the next few decades while phasing out gasoline-powered vehicles. Car companies that are specifically focused on producing electric vehicles, like Tesla, are leading the charge into the future.
Safety measures are also being improved with every generation of vehicles that are released, making the future of electric vehicles a promising one.
However, though there are plenty of benefits to owning these new vehicles, are electric cars safer in a crash? If you get into an accident involving an electric car, are you more or less likely to experience injuries or even death?
The Dangers of Electric Vehicle Accidents
The answer is not a simple yes or no. While safety standards are improving for newer cars, there are risks specific to electric vehicles that may make them more dangerous in an accident.
If you were to compare the weight of electric vehicles to comparable gas-powered models, you would find that EVs are heavier. This is due to the type of engine that is required to run on a lithium battery. Gasoline-powered cars are less dense than their electric counterparts, putting them at risk in the event of an accident with an electric car. Crash tests that were conducted in Switzerland in 2022 demonstrated that conventional vehicles experienced greater physical damage than electric vehicles of a similar size and shape. Since an electric vehicle is heavier, this puts others at a higher risk of injuries and death in an electric vehicle accident.
Electric cars that are powered by energy from lithium-ion batteries have greater torque than other automobiles. This means that they can accelerate faster with the same amount of pressure on the pedal as a gas car would. This makes it slightly harder to control an electric vehicle, making them more likely to cause an accident. Consumers should be aware that “over-tapping” with vehicles that run on electricity can lead to collisions.
High Voltage Lithium Ion Batteries
A lithium-ion battery creates high voltage within the vehicle. When an accident occurs, this high voltage can put the driver, passengers, and those nearby at risk of an electric shock. While the risk of electrocution is being addressed by car manufacturers and techniques are being adapted to reduce this hazard, there is also the possibility of fires because of a burning battery compartment. Lithium batteries can catch fire in some circumstances, putting victims at risk of further injury, especially if they are immobilized. The presence of so much electricity can cause a short circuit, also resulting in battery fires that produce the danger of high heat.
Safety Tips for Accidents Involving Electric Vehicles
There are a few steps you should follow in the event of an accident that involves an electric vehicle, whether you are the driver of that vehicle or not.
Get Clear of the Vehicle
Since there is a danger of fire, electrocution, and other hazards, you should get as far away from the EV as possible. Remove the key from the ignition, roll down the windows if possible, and do not touch any wiring or electrical components that you see. Be especially careful around the battery pack, and never assume that there is no battery power running through the car.
Inform First Responders
First responders at the scene of the crash need to be aware of the nature of your vehicle. Let them know that it is electric before they get too close so that they can also avoid injuries from electrical shocks or the high temperature of a fire. Just because there are no flames visible does not mean that temperatures are normal.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer
When you are involved in any kind of vehicle crash, it may be helpful to get in touch with a personal injury or accident lawyer. Crashes can cause a lot of damage, both to your vehicle and to the people involved, and legal professionals can help you navigate the claims process in the aftermath.
When the negligence of another driver causes the collision, you may have the right to pursue compensation to cover damages. Damages can include medical bills, lost income, wrongful death, property damage, and even emotional suffering. Working with a lawyer gives you the power to assess these damages and pursue a fair level of compensation.
Building a Case
When electric vehicle drivers cause crashes, the injured victims must be able to prove that negligence was involved. This requires evidence from the scene of the collision, such as eyewitness accounts or a copy of the police report. Work with your attorney to build a strong case that supports your claim and increases your chance of winning.
Negotiating with Insurance Companies
In vehicle collision cases, you are likely to go up against an insurance company when negotiating a settlement. Whether the collision involved electric vehicles or not is irrelevant, and the insurers will attempt to lowball you with their initial offer. Many are tempted to accept this amount so that they can receive the money and move on. Lawyers will ensure that negotiation takes place and that the settlement you win is enough to cover the damages suffered.
Peace of Mind
Crashes can be deadly in the worst scenarios but still cause injury in the best cases. Collisions with electric vehicles pose many dangers that could ruin your life or the life of a loved one. There could be a lot of emotional trauma that you experience after the incident, making it difficult to consider filing a claim and handling complex legal procedures. The assistance of a lawyer can provide you with the peace of mind needed to recover both physically and emotionally from the event. Let the professional handle the logistics and the legal details so that there is less of a burden on your shoulders. this will give you the space to recover from an injury or even properly mourn the loss of a loved one.
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