There are around 600,000 electric vehicles on the road in the United States.
They are environmentally friendly, reduce our carbon footprint, and are slowly becoming more affordable. However, while electric vehicles are revolutionizing transport, they are still relatively new on the market.
This means the average person might not know the dangers involved in electric car accidents.
We know that traditional vehicles are dangerous. Tens of thousands of Americans die in car accidents every year. And, of course, the usual reasons for car crashes will not disappear with the advent of the electric vehicle.
People will still drive drunk, get distracted by their cellphones, or act recklessly on the road.
However, while the absence of a tank of flammable fuel makes electric cars safer, there are still dangers when a crash occurs.
Read on to learn about the three main dangers of electric vehicles.
1. Fire After Electric Car Accidents
Electric cars may not be carrying flammable fuel. Still, they are loaded with thousands of Lithium-ion batteries, which power them.
Manufacturers have packed electric cars with precautionary devices to prevent fires. However, in the event of a crash, the lithium could overheat, explode, and lead to a dangerous fire. This can be deadly for the people inside the car and any passers-by.
Separating the batteries, using coolant to prevent overheating, and the use of collision detectors are all efforts to minimize the chance of this happening. But the danger remains.
Last year, a Tesla car crashed in Houston, Texas, and a lithium-ion battery fire erupted. It took firefighters more than four hours and 30,000 gallons of water to extinguish the flames.
There is a limited danger of being electrocuted while driving or charging your electric vehicle.
However, when there is a car accident, electrocution poses a significant threat to passengers and emergency workers at the scene. First responders face high voltage systems, exposed cables, and broken battery packs.
This has raised concerns among fire and emergency services departments, who might be afraid to help remove an injured person from a car, fearing electrocution.
Find out more about how an electric vehicle can be safely handled after a crash.
3. Chemical Hazards
Other dangers to first responders and the people involved in an electric vehicle accident are the chemicals and gases that they might be exposed to.
The damaged vehicle can emit toxic fumes. Smoke from the vehicle after the accident can contain hydrogen fluoride and other metals. In fact, fire departments have advised emergency workers to wear protective equipment with a breathing apparatus to protect them from the fumes when attending an electric vehicle fire.
If the car is on fire, the flames can be thousands of degrees hot. If water or foam is sprayed on the fire, water molecules can violently separate into hydrogen and oxygen gases.
Lithium burns can affect both skin and the respiratory system.
Driving Safely in an Electric Vehicle
Anytime you get behind the wheel of a heavy machine, there are dangers involved. There are many advantages to driving an electric vehicle, but there are still potential threats to be aware of.
Now that you know what to look out for in electric car accidents have a look around our website for more useful articles.