Dangers Posed by Electric Cars

As motor vehicle manufacturers continue to make advancements in energy efficiency and in alternative fuel sources, cars powered solely by electricity rather than gasoline will likely show up more and more often on roads across America. Unfortunately, while electric vehicles are much better for the environment than gas-powered ones, they also come with their own unique risks that not everyone is prepared to account for.

Being aware of the dangers posed by electric cars can go a long way towards protecting you and your loved ones from getting hurt in unforeseen accidents. If you do end up getting hurt because of negligence by an electric car owner, operator, or manufacturer, a dedicated auto accident lawyer could help you pursue fair financial restitution for any damages you experienced as a result.

Battery Malfunctions and Vehicle Fires

Anyone who has ever used a smartphone knows that the lithium-ion batteries powering these handheld devices can heat up substantially if they are overused, faulty, or at the end of their useful life. What those people might not all know, though, is that many electric cars run on the same type of batteries—and accordingly, those batteries can overheat and lead to devastating vehicle fires under certain conditions.

While vehicle fires caused by electronic lithium-ion batteries are still fairly uncommon even among older models of electric vehicles, the risk is still present and significant. Perhaps even more significantly, fires caused by these batteries are uniquely difficult for even highly trained firefighters to manage, so the potential danger they pose to drivers and occupants of electric cars cannot be overstated.

Increased Risk of Pedestrian Accidents

Another unique hazard associated with electric vehicles is, somewhat counterintuitively, how efficiently and quietly their engines run. For drivers and passengers, this is understandably a selling point for these sleek modern machines. However, for pedestrians, bicyclists, and others nearby who are used to hearing loud vehicle motors approaching from a good distance away, an almost silent electric car may be much harder to hear coming, and therefore much harder to avoid being accidentally struck by.

For this reason, the risk of a pedestrian accident while an electric car is emerging from out of sight is substantially greater than the risk associated with a gas-powered car doing the same thing. Even though they do not have gas-powered engines, electric vehicles are still heavy enough to cause serious and possibly life-threatening injuries to any unprotected person who ends up unexpectedly in one’s path, especially if they are a minor child or elderly adult.

Overdependence on Autopilot

On top of technological faults and ingrained habits that are hard for pedestrians to break, some electric vehicles are dangerous simply because their operators rely too much on features like automatic parking or auto-pilot on the road. While certainly advanced by even the most modern standards, these features are also far from perfect, and new stories emerge every week of someone getting hurt in an accident—or causing injury to someone else—because they thought their electric car would be able to maneuver itself out of harm’s way without their input.

Any accident involving an electric car can make for complicated personal injury litigation, especially in light of how many judges and jury members may not fully understand how these vehicles work and what dangers they pose to people in and around them. Assistance from an experienced car crash attorney could be crucial to achieving a positive resolution in this kind of situation.