Our Nashville Injury Attorney Examines the Issue
With more than 435,000 battery powered electric and electric hybrids sold in the United States in one year alone, electric cars are rapidly becoming a popular alternative to gasoline-powered vehicles. However, with more of these cars on the roads, many people are becoming aware of their potential safety hazards. Are these dangers real, and should they affect your decision to purchase an electric vehicle?
Are the Batteries in Electric and Hybrid Cars Dangerous?
One common concern is how the battery packs and high voltage motors affect those in an electric or hybrid vehicle. According to one story, one driver in a Tesla Model S accidentally ran over a fender or other piece of curved metal that had fallen off a truck. The metal went through the thick undercarriage and somehow punctured the battery. In about half an hour, the vehicle was engulfed in flames. Fortunately, the Model S does include a warning system, so the car warned the driver to get off the highway when the incident occurred.
Lithium ion batteries are the most popular sources of power in these vehicles, and the Model S includes over 6,500 lithium ion batteries. Once a single battery catches fire, the blaze can spread.
However, makers of electric and hybrid cars, including the Model S, have a number of safety measures in place to prevent fires, such as a cooling system and heat resistant material between groups of batteries. These incidents are also rare, indicating that electric and hybrid vehicles are no more dangerous than a vehicle full of highly flammable gasoline.
These vehicles may also pose a threat to emergency responders and tow truck operators when these vehicles endure auto accidents. These professionals simply need the information and training to understand the needs of electric and hybrid cars. Automakers have been advised to create kill switches to shut off the batteries in the event an accident occurs.
Are Electric and Hybrid Cars too Quiet?
Many drivers are drawn to these vehicles because of their low sound output. Yet, pedestrians and other people near the vehicle often have difficulty hearing these vehicles when they drive slowly, idle or accelerate. This poses a particular hazard to those who are blind.
In response, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed a rule that requires electric and hybrid cars traveling under 18 miles per hour to make some type of noise to alert bicyclists, pedestrians and others. This means manufacturers need to produce an external speaker that emits sound.
Talk to a Car Accident Attorney Today
Clearly, electric and hybrid cars create certain safety concerns, but these vehicles seem to be no more dangerous than gasoline-powered cars. Drivers can mitigate these risks by remaining aware and prudent on the road, always.
Anytime a driver or automaker’s negligent actions cause others harm, Nashville injury lawyer Stanley A. Davis is always available to help victims. Call us today at (615) 690-2080 for free attorney advice about a personal injury.