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Do Electric Cars Pose Additional Hazards During a Crash?

Electric cars can pose additional hazards during crashes, but they may not be the hazards you’re thinking of. The fact is that electric vehicles are relatively new to the car market, and the statistics regarding risk factors aren’t fully fleshed out. Let’s consider what we do know, and if you’ve been injured by the negligence of a motorist who is driving an EV – or any other vehicle – seek the trusted legal representation of an experienced New York car accident attorney.

Fires Caused by Electric Vehicles Are Especially Dangerous

The fact is that when electric vehicles do burst into flame, the fires are more dangerous in the sense that they are more difficult to put out, and not every firetruck has the capacity to do so. The matter is especially serious when an EV’s lithium-ion battery ignites, which produces an immense amount of heat and an immense amount of fire – according to WBAL-TV 11.

When the fire escapes one cell and spreads to the others in a chain reaction known as thermal runaway, it can generate temperatures of over 1,000 degrees. When such accidents do occur, getting at the battery and cooling it down is critical. Other than water, most fire departments across the country don’t have the resources to cool these batteries off adequately, and as a result, they can reignite.

The good news is that EV fires are, based on early statistics, less common – or no more common – than other kinds of car fires. While the risk is immense when an electric vehicle does burst into flame, it’s not a frequent occurrence, and it doesn’t happen more often than other kinds of car fires in traffic accidents.

The Weight of the EV’s Battery

A bigger concern, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), is the weight of the batteries in electric vehicles. The batteries that power electric cars are immensely heavy, and when these vehicles are in accidents with much lighter vehicles – even those that are similarly sized – the results can be devastating. The occupants of the lighter vehicle take the brunt of the force, while the occupants of the EV are afforded more significant protection due to their vehicle’s weight.


Another safety concern is the horsepower behind EVs – many of which can go from 0 to 60 in around 3 seconds. Typically, very heavy vehicles take longer to get up to speed – such as the delivery trucks you encounter on the highway – but EVs pack a serious punch in terms of both the following:

  • They are exceptionally heavy
  • They have immense horsepower

This makes accidents involving lighter vehicles – which translates to all gas-powered vehicles of similar size – that much more dangerous for the occupants of those gas-powered vehicles.

It’s Time to Consult with an Experienced New York Car Accident Attorney

The accomplished New York car accident attorneys at Steve Foley Law Firm dedicate their practice to skillfully advocating for our valued clients’ rights and rightful compensation, and we encourage you to reach out for the legal guidance you need. For more information, don’t delay contacting us online or calling 716-249-2222 today.