When you or a loved one suffers harm in an electric vehicle mishap, you may have a claim against the at-fault party. The experienced and winning Ehline Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys, A Professional Law Corporation, have helped thousands like you. We assist the victims in repairing their lives so they can continue living with their new found hindrances and bodily injuries.
Pedestrians and Electric Vehicle Collisions
Electric vehicles are unlike other cars, motorcycles, and trucks. They make little sound compared to other motor vehicles. People are walking, and bicyclists normally have time to get out of the way when a car puts them in danger.
The electric car is minus the explosions that cause fuel engines to work. So they run quietly. Because of this quietude, the oncoming car gives little or no warning to people on the street. A practiced car accident lawyer in Los Angeles knows whether walking or bicycling the car might not get noticed.
While this may relieve the noise and pollution, it creates a more dangerous situation for people not in motor vehicles. Most of all, blind people are at serious risk, as they rely on sound to detect vehicles in their area. When this kind of vehicle approaches a pedestrian or bicyclist one of two things can happen:
- The healthy person sees the vehicle’s approach and gets to safety.
- The other thing that happens, they may not see the oncoming car. If the driver gets distracted, the person on foot can get struck. So they can get hit by any motor vehicle including an electric car. Impacts like this can result in serious harm, death, and property damage.
There are clear advantages of electric vehicles. They save the environment, have long-term savings over that of a fuel driven vehicle. Also, they help reduce noise pollution. These cars become more popular as gas prices rise and concern for the environment increases.
So it means a larger risk for adults, and children afoot, and bicyclists. Because these cars are not a combustion engine that makes noise, it may take some time before people on foot or bicycle become aware of the danger.
Electronic Vehicle Safety
The National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2013 became aware of the lack of noise with slow speed electric vehicles. The low amount of noise from the cars opened a debate over the concern for pedestrian dangers.
Especially unique is their potential for harm to children, the blind or partially sighted. The disabled or elderly pedestrian or bicycle rider and anyone with headphones are a sitting duck. Any of these conditions could put the person at a greater risk to get hit by one of these vehicles.
The most danger to a pedestrian or bike rider is with electric vehicles. Most of all, data shows this risk is highest when the car travels at slow speed. Whether the car is pulling into traffic, starting again after a stop at a traffic sign or signal the danger is pronounced to people on foot. Also, this risk is high when exiting or entering parking spaces and driveways, backing up, or slowing down. Simply put, these vehicles make the least amount of noise. They may not make enough noise for people on the streets to hear. The risk according to the NHTSA is double during these maneuvers by electric cars.
Furthermore, the NHTSA estimates the number of annual pedestrian collisions could be decreased or avoided. The total number of crashes yearly is about 3,000 according to the NHTSA. Of course, this assumes the number of electric vehicles stays the same. The number is unlikely to stay at its current number. It is estimated by the year 2040 approximately 50 percent of all traffic on the road will be electric or hybrid. The current number is about 0.1 percent or one vehicle out of one thousand.
The most common models of electric vehicles in the United States include:
- Chevrolet Spark EV
- Ford Focus
- BMW i3
- Fiat 500e
- Mercedes-Benz B-Class ED
- Nissan Leaf
- Smart ED
- Tesla Model S
- Volkswagen e-Golf
- Owner Related Danger
Another danger involves the owner rather than a person walking, bicyclist or another motorist. These vehicles have a lithium-ion battery that powers the cars. While there have been extreme safety measures taken the batteries contain hazardous materials. The chemicals have a volatile nature. When exposed to moisture even from the air or any amount of water the chemicals react explosively.
Water causes the chemicals to heat. That can cause the battery to ignite and burn at over 840 °F degrees. This puts the vehicle owner, passengers, and any other people in danger of severe burns or dying. It is rare for this kind of battery fire. But it does happen. The more frequent the electric car becomes, the more battery fires will happen. Then it will cause injury or death from water, moisture, or crash.
The more of these vehicles we see on the road, the higher the risk is for battery fire injuries or death. It is also not a clear case of a manufacturer defect. But sometimes several factors that cause the battery to ignite rather than a defect or poor design.
Electric Vehicle Lawyer
If you or a loved one have been hurt by the driver of this kind of vehicle as a pedestrian or bicyclist you need a pro. You have the right to be compensated. This settlement includes medical costs, lost wages, property damages. Also, it comes along with pain and suffering and other damages.
So here we discussed that when electric car owners or vehicle drivers and passengers collide, owners or others may suffer harm or die. We learned that because of this, a faulty battery could ignite. But also, all vehicle accidents require investigation. Especially true is in the rare case of a battery fire. This kind of car crash or mishap also needs to undergo an investigation. Since they are fairly new cars, they could have manufacturer or design defects. They also often need expert negotiation skills to fight for the settlement you should get.
Contact our law firm to speak with an experienced electric vehicle accident lawyer for a free consultation. We will evaluate your claim to determine the best course of action. That will help get the compensation you deserve.
Ehline, M. (2016). The Evolution of the Dangerous Electric Vehicle Fire. Retrieved October 11, 2016, from https://www.losangelesaccidentpersonalinjury.attorney/dangers-of-electric-vehicle-fires/