Navigating Electric Vehicle Accidents: Safety, Risks, and Legal Guidance | Law Office of Irene H. Gabo, P.C.
What Happens if an Electric Car is in an Accident?
When it comes to vehicle accidents, electric cars are no exception. However, the safety measures and outcomes can differ significantly from traditional gasoline-powered vehicles. Electric vehicles (EVs) have advanced safety features and systems to prevent collisions, such as autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane-keeping assistance, and traffic sign recognition. Brands like Tesla even offer semi-autonomous driving systems, such as ‘Autopilot.’
Despite these advancements, accidents can still occur. When they do, the safety of electric vehicles has been proven to be on par with their gasoline and diesel counterparts. The Euro NCAP (the European New Car Assessment Programme), an independent vehicle safety body, has given most electric and hybrid cars on sale today the top five-star rating. This means that these vehicles protect both occupants and pedestrians extremely well and feature technology that aims to prevent collisions.
The Risk of Fire in Electric Vehicles
One of the concerns often raised about electric vehicles is the risk of fire, particularly in an accident. Like gasoline and diesel cars, electric vehicles have a small risk of catching fire. However, the lithium-ion batteries on board electric vehicles do not require a spark or flame to ignite, unlike the gasoline in a traditional car.
While manufacturers and battery makers have made huge strides in improving vehicle safety, a violent crash in an electric vehicle can still result in the car catching fire. This can happen if the battery short circuits and heats up. Lithium-ion batteries are susceptible to heat; if they warm up too much, they can ignite.
Preventing Battery Fires
Manufacturers have made significant progress in preventing battery fires. Companies like Tesla and Nissan have built fail-safe circuitry that shuts down the battery when its voltage exceeds safe limits. This helps to prevent the battery from overheating and potentially catching fire.
Additionally, manufacturers have provided guidance for emergency crews on how to handle electric and hybrid vehicle fires. They highlight areas that can be cut and areas that cannot, with the latter including areas that have high-voltage wires running through them.
What Happens to Electric Car Batteries in a Crash?
In the event of a crash, the lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles can pose a unique set of challenges. If a battery cell catches fire, there can be a chain reaction within the whole battery resulting in the vehicle catching fire. However, the likelihood of this happening is extremely low thanks to the safety measures put in place by manufacturers.
Furthermore, in the event of an accident, the battery systems in most electric vehicles are designed to disconnect the battery from the rest of the vehicle. This helps to prevent further damage to the battery and reduces the risk of a fire.
Legal Considerations in Electric Vehicle Accidents
From a legal perspective, electric vehicle accidents can be complex. These vehicles’ unique features and technologies can raise new legal questions and challenges. For example, who is legally responsible if an accident is caused by a malfunction in the vehicle’s autonomous driving system? The driver, the manufacturer, or the software developer?
These are questions that the legal system is still grappling with. As a result, if you are involved in an accident with an electric vehicle, it’s important to consult a lawyer familiar with these issues.
Safety and Electric Vehicles
While electric vehicles bring new dynamics to road safety, they are designed with numerous safety features to protect occupants and pedestrians. The risk of fire, although present, is minimal and well-managed by manufacturers. However, in the unfortunate event of an accident, legal complexities may arise due to the unique nature of these vehicles.
Understanding these issues and seeking appropriate legal help is crucial. If you or a loved one has been in an electric vehicle accident, don’t hesitate to contact us at the Law Office of Irene H. Gabo, P.C., for a free consultation. Call us today at (800) 560-0214.
Seeking Legal Help After an Electric Vehicle Accident
If you’ve been involved in an accident with an electric vehicle, it’s crucial to seek legal advice. The unique nature of these vehicles can complicate the legal process, and you’ll need a lawyer who understands the intricacies of electric vehicle technology and law.
At the Law Office of Irene H. Gabo, P.C., we have the experience to handle electric vehicle cases. We can help you navigate the legal process, protect your rights, and fight for the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (800) 560-0214 or complete the form on this page to schedule a consultation.