California first-responders are facing a new wave of safety hazards when responding to car accidents involving electric cars. After a deadly crash in Mountain View, California, the fire chief released a safety alert to other first-responders in the region to warn of the dangers of the high-voltage batteries in electric cars involved in accidents.
Firefighters responding to the crash were shocked to see once the fire was extinguished it reignited at least 3 times in the next six days. This created a seriously hazardous condition for the firefighters who were unsure when the battery would stop bursting into flames. Many are now questioning the safety of electric cars in high-speed car accidents.
What are Electric Cars?
The newly created electric car market has caught the attention of many consumers with the promise of increase in environmental efficiency and decrease in fuel costs when compared to regular gas-fueled vehicles. Electric cars run entirely off of electricity, so they must be plugged in to charge before continuing to travel. The electric car market has recently boomed with over 2 million people across the world using electric cars with the U.S. being the third largest market. With these new cars comes new safety hazards that the public needs to be aware of.
How are Electric Cars Dangerous in a Car Accident?
Electric cars are equipped with high-voltage lithium-ion batters that differ from regular gas-fueled cars because they engineered to be rechargeable. Some electric car manufacturers, such as Tesla, engineered the battery to respond in the case of a fire by slowing down the spread of flames so all passengers can retreat safely. Unfortunately, this seemingly innovative safety features is creating more work and hazards for first-responders. The battery is burning energy so slowly that the leftover energy becomes unstable, leaving the battery to spontaneously combust over the course of a couple days after the accident.
Firefighters are usually able to cool a battery down to guarantee safe removal but with the Tesla electric battery it took days and a call to Tesla engineers to officially declare the battery safe. This is important for electric car drivers to know in case of an accident. If you have been in an accident, you should contact an experienced Pawtucket car accident lawyer today to see what potential claims of compensation you may have.
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