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Are Electrical Vehicles More Prone to Road Crashes?

Are Electrical Vehicles More Prone to Road Crashes?

Once the stuff of science fiction, electric vehicles (EVs) have swiftly shifted from being niche novelties to the trailblazers of the modern automotive market. These silent, sleek machines promise a high-tech future, where innovation and sustainability go hand in hand. As cities hum with the quiet power of EVs, the electric revolution is undeniably here, charging forward at a breathtaking pace.

Yet, beneath the excitement and eco-friendly accolades, a pressing question simmers: Are EVs more prone to road crashes than their ICE counterparts?

In mid-April, a Pleasanton family of four – Tarun and Rincy George with their two sons – lost their lives in an EV crash. It was later revealed that the EV the family was riding in – a VinFast VF8 – had a history of steering wheel issues. The steering wheel of the EV would often maneuver in the right direction on its own, as revealed in the complaint filed with the NHTSA. 

Burnham Law Firm notes that the aftermath of such a collision can be a terrifying and disorienting experience. This is true not only for the ones involved but also for the witnesses. Today, we will examine the growing threat of road crashes by EVs, and explore their contributing factors. Let’s get started.

Factors Contributing to EV Road Crashes

The surge of EVs also brings a unique set of challenges and considerations regarding road safety. Below, we’ll delve deeper into these multifaceted influences and uncover how they shape the driving experience in ways both exhilarating and precarious.

Technological Differences

When it comes to EVs, they’re not just your average cars—they’re like the cool, tech-savvy cousins of traditional ICE vehicles. 

The electric motors in EVs are like instant powerhouses, delivering torque at the drop of a hat. Sure, it’s exhilarating for drivers who love that rush of acceleration, but it can also catch you off guard. This is especially true for those who are new to such lightning-fast responsiveness. 

Now, let’s talk about the center of gravity. EVs are like the low-riders of the automotive world, thanks to those hefty battery packs snugly tucked beneath the floor. 

That lower center of gravity? It’s like having a built-in stability booster, reducing the chances of tipping over—pretty neat, right? But here’s the kicker: it also means these cars handle a bit differently. Sharp turns and high-speed maneuvers might require a bit more finesse, so drivers need to be on their A-game behind the wheel.

And we can’t forget about those fancy advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS). Think of them as your trusty co-pilot, always ready to lend a hand when things get hairy on the road. From adaptive cruise control to automatic emergency braking, these systems are designed to keep you safe and sound. 

However, relying too much on them can be a double-edged sword. Sure, they’re great at what they do, but they’re not superheroes. Drivers still need to keep their wits about them and understand that these systems have their limits. After all, a little complacency can lead to some not-so-fun surprises down the road.

Performance Characteristics

EVs are like the sprinters of the automotive world, boasting some seriously quick get-up-and-go. That lightning-fast acceleration can catch some drivers off guard, especially if they’re used to the more leisurely pace of traditional cars. 

It’s like going from 0 to 60 in the blink of an eye, which can be a bit of a white-knuckle ride. Sure, it’s great for zipping past slowpokes on the highway or dodging obstacles in a pinch, but it takes some getting used to.

Furthermore, with EVs gliding by in near-silence, it’s like they’re sneaking up on you out of nowhere. Researchers behind a Road Safety Data analysis have revealed that EVs pose a greater threat to pedestrians than petrol or diesel cars because of their silent nature. 

The average annual casualty rate of pedestrians per 100 million miles calculated by them was higher for EVs – 5.16 – than for petrol or diesel cars – 2.40. Phil Edwards, the lead author of the paper, remarked:

“More work needs to be done to reduce the risk [EVs] pose to predetrians, particularly in noisy urban environments.”

As a pedestrian, have you ever found yourself on the receiving end of such an EV crash? It sets the ground for a classic personal injury lawsuit, making you eligible to receive significant compensation. For those who struggle with navigating their way through the legalities of a lawsuit, the assistance of a personal injury attorney can be invaluable.

EV Charging Stations – An Accident-prone Zone or Not?  

Lilypad EV notes that with the growing number of EVs across the country, there is a major push to install charging infrastructure for electric drivers. 

While EV charging stations aren’t exactly the hotspots for accidents, there are a few things to consider when it comes to safety. 

First off, think about where these charging stations are located. Sometimes, they’re smack dab in the middle of bustling areas, surrounded by cars and pedestrians. It’s like trying to find a parking spot in a crowded shopping mall on a Saturday afternoon—lots of moving parts and potential for chaos.

Then there’s the condition of the charging infrastructure itself. You want these stations to be in tip-top shape, right? If charging stations aren’t properly maintained or installed, they could pose serious safety risks to drivers and anyone else nearby.

Lastly, think about how the availability and accessibility of charging stations might affect driver behavior. If there aren’t enough charging spots or they’re located in sketchy areas, drivers might try to charge up in unauthorized spots. Fewer charging stations can also lead drivers to approach them in a rush more often. 

A recent Tesla accident in Alton, East Hampshire, is a classic example of the same. A Tesla Model S crashed into a charging station on the Argosy Casino parking lot on May 12. After a large crowd gathered around the spot of the accident, the Alton Police Department was notified about it. 

Upon arrival, the investigation revealed that the Tesla driver struck the station while driving at a high speed. The accident caused damage to both the car and the charging station, with the driver being charged for reckless driving later.

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Driver Behavior 

Now, let’s talk about how driving an EV can shake up your behind-the-wheel behavior. It’s like stepping into a whole new world of driving experiences, which takes some getting used to.

Regenerative Braking:

When you hit the brakes in an EV, instead of just slowing down, you’re also juicing up the battery. It’s like getting a two-for-one deal every time you stop. Pretty cool, right? 

But here’s the thing: it changes the way you drive. You start relying more on easing off the accelerator to slow down instead of slamming on the brakes like you would in a traditional car. It’s all about that smooth, gradual deceleration. 

One-pedal Driving: 

It’s exactly what it sounds like—driving with just one foot. No need to switch back and forth between the gas and the brake pedal. In an EV, you can do it all with the accelerator. Pretty wild, huh? But it’s not as easy as it sounds. 

Sure, it’s convenient and energy-efficient, but it definitely throws you for a loop if you’re used to the old-school two-pedal dance. You might find yourself misjudging stopping distances, feeling like you’re coming to a screeching halt when you least expect it. It’s all part of the learning curve.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the lifespan of an EV? 

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the batteries of most EVs today come with a 10-year and 100,000-mile coverage warranty. If your EV is regularly used and serviced, you can expect its battery to last anywhere between 8-12 years.

Do electric cars lose charge when they’re parked? 

EVs lose a small amount of charge when parked because power is still required to maintain their various electrical systems. However, this is just a minimal amount; only 2-3% of the charge will be drained even if the car is parked for a month.

What are the risks of an electric car charging? 

Battery fires are a major threat to electric car charging. The lithium-ion batteries in these cars are vulnerable to damage due to any possible glitch in the charging process. A battery fire is also difficult to suppress since lithium releases toxic fumes and isn’t easily extinguishable.

It is true that EVs stand as fine specimens of sustainability and innovation today. However, these machines have also been noticed to contribute to a fair amount of road crashes lately. 

With a better understanding of the factors behind EV road crashes, we aim to make informed decisions toward forming effective mitigation strategies for them.

Kevin Williams is an automotive enthusiast and expert writer with a passion for all things related to cars. With a wealth of knowledge in the world of vehicles, Kevin's mission is to provide informative articles that empower car enthusiasts to make informed decisions about their automotive interests. With extensive experience, Kevin has contributed numerous articles to Cars Cache, covering a wide spectrum of topics from vehicle reviews to maintenance tips and more.


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