Everything You Need Know About the Risks of Electric Vehicles
Electric vehicles, or EVs, are becoming more and more popular every day. With the promise of being environmentally friendly and cheaper to operate, it’s no wonder that people are switching from gas-powered cars.
Legal Help for Electric Vehicle Injuries
If you are injured in an electric vehicle accident, it is good to know that there are knowledgeable attorneys who can help you to get compensated for your losses.
Electric vehicles are still a relatively new technology; and while there are not yet many laws in place specifically governing accidents involving EVs, it’s important to get counsel from a Houston electric vehicle accident lawyer to guide you through the maze and help ensure that you receive the maximum amount of compensation possible.
In addition to physical injuries, you may also be able to recover compensation for monetary losses from the accident. This includes things like missed work, medical bills, and transportation costs. Contact Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law by calling 713-973-8888 or reaching us online for a free case review.
The Dangers of Electric Vehicles
As people search for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and eliminate their dependency on oil, electric vehicles may seem smart, but, how safe are electric cars?
There are some risks associated with electric vehicles that you should be aware of before you dream of being able to drive in the carpool lane by yourself.
The following are examples of how electric vehicles can be dangerous:
- Non-motorists, such as pedestrians and bicyclists, can easily be injured by electric vehicles.
- Electric vehicles can be a fire hazard.
- The batteries in electric vehicles can release harmful toxins into the environment.
- Electric vehicles can be susceptible to theft due to the high cost of their batteries.
- There is an inherent risk of electrocution by first responders after an EV crash.
Accidents Caused By Electric Cars
With the rise of electric vehicle ownership comes an increased risk of accidents. The concern over accidents caused by EVs is so great that Congress passed the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act in 2010 to establish and study safety standards for electric and hybrid vehicles – and with good reason, since the crash rate with bicyclists and pedestrians is significantly higher compared to gas-powered vehicles.
A report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that the rate of accidents involving pedestrians and hybrid electric vehicles has increased by 40% since these types of cars have been on the road.
As of 03/09/2022, there were 240 deaths involving Tesla cars. Twelve of these fatalities occurred while the car was on autopilot.
Electric Vehicles and Risks to Pedestrians
Electric vehicles pose a risk to pedestrians for a variety of reasons. One of the main dangers of electric vehicles is their quietness. Electric cars are virtually silent when being driven, creating a dangerous situation for pedestrians who may not hear the car coming.
This is especially important for visually impaired pedestrians who rely on the sound of an approaching vehicle for their safety.
One of the laws in the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act requires all hybrids and EVs traveling under 18.6 mph to generate a vehicle-in-motion noise to alert pedestrians that an electric vehicle is near them.
If you’ve been hit by an electric vehicle, seeking the counsel of an Pedestrian accident attorney who has experience in fighting for pedestrian rights after an electric vehicle accident is so important.
Since electric cars and motorcycles are almost too quiet to notice, insurance companies may try and blame you for not paying attention.
That’s why your personal injury lawyer must have the experience needed to represent you in an electric vehicle accident lawsuit.
Autonomous Driving Cars
Due to the unique silence of EVs, drivers of self-driving electric vehicles should be extra vigilant while behind the wheel; however, that seems to defeat the whole purpose of allowing a car to drive itself.
For the safety of others, EVs drivers should be aware of the silent nature of their electric cars and take extra precautions when approaching an intersection or turning.
The driver of any vehicle, autonomous or otherwise, owes a duty of care to always yield to pedestrians, especially if they are crossing the street at a crosswalk.
The takeaway is that even though an electric vehicle may have the ability to be self-driving, an operator of an EV still needs to be aware of their surroundings and be prepared to take evasive action if necessary.
Self-driving cars pose other risks as well. The State of Arizona has banned the testing of driverless cars in the aftermath of an autonomous Uber accident that killed a pedestrian.
The reason for the unfortunate crash was the car’s failure to sense the pedestrian crossing the street and failing to engage the brakes.
Due to the number of self-driving crashes in Germany, a law was passed to ban the advertising of the autopilot function in electric vehicles.
Electric Vehicle Recalls
Tesla recently announced a recall for 11,704 vehicles over an issue with the forward-collision warning system (FCW). The problem results in false automatic emergency braking (AEB) events, which can increase the risk of a collision.
The NTHSA was notified of the problem in October 2021, and Tesla began investigating the issue. The company has now determined that the forward-collision warning system may falsely activate the automatic emergency braking event when there is no risk of a collision.
In February 2022, Tesla recalled 54,000 vehicles because cars using the full self-driving feature were not stopping for stop signs. It seems that Tesla had designed its software to purposely break the law by rolling through stop signs at over 5 mph. Tesla has since disabled this feature.
What Are The Fire Risks Of Electric Vehicles?
Another risk associated with electric vehicles is the possibility of fire. This can happen if something goes wrong with the car’s charging system or with the battery itself. State Farm recently sued Tesla for $1.2 million when a Tesla’s electrical system failed while charging and started a fire that burned down a home.
If an electric vehicle crashes and catches fire, the chances of survival are diminished because a battery fire can be especially dangerous.
In a recent fatal crash involving a Tesla that hit a tree and burst into flames, firefighters used 30,000 gallons of water in an attempt to extinguish the fire, but to no avail. The fire lasted hours, and eventually the firefighters gave up and allowed the fire to burn itself out.
Sudden Acceleration and Other Risks
Sudden unintended acceleration in electric vehicles happens when the throttle fails to stabilize a voltage spike, which causes the electric motor to accelerate on its own. Since this type of malfunction can happen at any time, it can cause a serious accident.
Moreover, some modern cars come equipped with automated assistance technology that can confuse some drivers trying to avoid accidents and cause a car to accelerate or not stop at all.
For example, some electric vehicles come equipped with adaptive cruise control that uses radar to gauge the distance of a vehicle in front of it; the problem is that people rely on this technology too much.
Adaptive cruise control is an assisted driving technology that is unable to detect a stopped car. If the driver is not paying attention and doesn’t intervene, the results can be fatal.
Very often, in an electric car accident lawsuit, the cause of the accident can be difficult to discover and prove. Complex technology often turns into complex litigation.
Choosing the right lawyer can make the difference between winning or losing your accident case. The good news is that are experienced board-certified Texas personal injury attorneys are ready to help. Call 713-973-8888 for a free case review.
Why are electric cars dangerous?
One of the biggest dangers of electric cars is their range. Most electric cars can only travel for about 100 miles on a single charge, which may not be enough for long trips. If your EV battery dies, you could be stranded for long periods without food or water.
Electric cars also take longer to charge than gasoline-powered cars, so you need to plan if you’re going to use one for an extended period.
Do I need an attorney for my EV accident?
An electric vehicle accident can be more serious than a standard car accident. For example, batteries in electric vehicles can release hazardous materials, including acid and toxins. These materials can cause serious injuries to people and property.
Because the technology of EVs is different from traditional gas-powered cars, determining liability can be difficult, especially if there are conflicting accounts of what happened. An attorney can help you navigate these complex legal waters and get the compensation you deserve.
Contact a board-certified personal injury lawyer today at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law by calling 713-973-8888.