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Safety Tips for Electric Car Owners

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Electric vehicles (EVs) are nothing new to the world. In fact, they have been around for more than 180 years and can be traced back to as early as 1828 when Anyos Jedlik constructed an electrically powered model car. Due to the popularity of gasoline powered engines, however, the electric car market never really opened up until the 21st century when high gasoline prices and heightened environmental awareness led to an increased interest in alternative fuels and a rise in the popularity of electric vehicles. More than 54,000 electric vehicles were sold in the first half of 2014 alone, and that number is expected to increase significantly over the next decade. Unfortunately, such an increase in electric vehicles on America's roadways will mean a rise in the number of EV related accidents. This calls for enhanced consumer awareness about the safety considerations of EVs that are involved in accidents.

Safety Tips For Electric Vehicles Involved in a Crash

The high voltage electricity that is associated with electric vehicles can pose additional hazards for drivers and passengers involved in EV accidents. The United States Fire Administration recommends that individuals who are involved in vehicle crashes that involve an electronic vehicle follow these safety tips:

  • Inform responding emergency personnel that the vehicle is an EV.
  • Never touch the engine compartment or exposed electrical components, wires or batteries as there may be an increased shock hazard.
  • Assume the vehicle is fully powered.
  • Roll down windows before shutting off the EV.
  • Remove the key and keep it a minimum of 16 feet from the vehicle.

Other things to consider after your electric vehicle is involved in an accident include:

  • Maintain a safe distance from an electric vehicle that has suffered extensive damage.
  • Never store a severely damaged electric vehicle inside of a building, or within 50 feet of a building or combustible.
  • Never attempt to repair a damaged electric vehicle. Contact an authorized service provider or the vehicle's manufacturer for repairs.
  • Call 911 immediately if you notice bubbling, sparks, leaking fluids, smoke, or gurgling coming from the high voltage battery.
  • Promptly report any injuries to emergency medical responders or seek treatment from local healthcare providers.
  • Seek assistance from an automobile accident attorney before accepting any type of settlement from an insurance company.
  • Remember that damage to the high voltage system could result in delayed release of toxic or flammable gases.

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