As with any other vehicle there can be safety issues and concerns with electric cars, sometimes of the kind that can lead to car accident personal injury claims. The safety concerns attached to them are largely different from those associated with traditional cars, such as the weaker overall structure of the vehicles and the smaller size of the car’s bodywork. However, electric cars also have features that actively improve the safety of drivers and passengers, such as the lower centre of gravity that ensures they are less liable to roll over, and the physical construction of the body, which makes them more durable in the event of a collision.
One of the most significant safety issues created by electric cars is the lighter bodies many of the cars have, which makes them more dangerous to drivers and passengers in the event of a crash. The materials used in the construction of the bodywork means that they are far more likely to crumple on impact with other vehicles or hard surfaces. However, many electric cars are actually heavier overall, due to the significant additional weight and heft of the batteries used to power them. This can have both positive and negative effects on the overall safety of the vehicles, as the greater weight leads to increased braking distances, but also compensates for the lighter bodywork to reduce the risk to occupants in the event of a crash. Current figures in this area show that the occupants of cars weighing 900 kg will experience 50 percent more injuries than those in a 1,400 kg car.
Another safety concern that has been raised with electric cars involves the tyres. Many electric cars have low-rolling resistance tyres which are designed to improve the overall efficiency of a vehicle, but which also generally offer significantly less traction on road surfaces. Furthermore there are concerns about the dangers to pedestrians created by the relatively low noise produced by the cars. The absence of the internal combustion engine that powers the traditional car makes electric vehicles much quieter, but this has led to worries about the potential effects on the visually impaired. Indeed, tests conducted have indicated that, at speeds below 20 miles per hour, the noise from electric cars is near-silent enough to make them dangerous to all pedestrians.
Finally there are the issues related to the chemical acid contained in the car batteries, which can potentially increase the risk of the vehicle releasing these chemicals or catching fire in the wake of an accident. However, the acid contained in the batteries will not instantaneously damage skin on contact and is kept in small separate quantities between a number of batteries.
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