Are Crashes More SEVere with EVs?

Crashed electric car in severe accident, frontal impact

Electric vehicles, or EVs, are one of the fastest growing segments of our economy. While they currently make up only a small percentage of total vehicle sales, many people say they would consider purchasing one, according to a recent Consumer Reports poll.

Obviously, there are many factors to consider, such as overall cost, cost savings versus a combustion engine vehicle, and proximity of a charging source (or the cost of installing one at home), among others. Then there is the can of worms you can open when you consider the existential question of whether EVs are a net positive for the environment—they don’t pollute like combustion vehicles do, but the rare metals used in the batteries are obtained through mining activities that may be harmful to the environment and the workers who perform the mining. These are questions for another day.

But what about safety? Are EVs safer than traditional motor vehicles?

That Depends…

A new study indicates that while EVs tend to be safer than most other vehicles on the road, their added weight makes any collisions more severe.

Why would that be?

One main reason is because the materials used to produce the lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles add considerable weight to them, meaning that when they are involved in a crash, especially with a lighter weight conventional vehicle, those crashes can be more serious.

Another reason is that, while rare, these batteries can catch fire or explode in a serious crash. That certainly sounds alarming! But remember, gasoline-powered vehicles also catch fire and explode in crashes, so electric vehicles may not be as much more dangerous on this score as they sound at first.

Finally, EVs have “rocket acceleration.” If you’ve ever driven or ridden in one, you understand the neck-snapping immediate acceleration that simply does not exist in any conventional vehicle, even those designed for racing. Thus, if people drive EVs by ripping off the line from a stop, it is foreseeable they could run into slower vehicles ahead of them rather quickly.

What Does This Mean For You?

If you own or lease an EV, it might mean your auto insurance premiums are more costly, taking these factors into account. But this is not yet borne out by data and is currently just a theory insurers are using to justify higher premiums (as if they needed another excuse!).

However, counterbalance this fear with the fact that EVs are equipped with all the latest safety technology to reduce crashes and protect occupants in the event of a crash. Among the most common safety features are air bags, crash avoidance technology, lane departure warning, semi-autonomous driving, and forward collision/automatic braking.

In other words, on balance, while electric vehicles may be heavier and accelerate faster than conventional vehicles, they also have enhanced safety features that should act as a counterbalance.


  • EVs are heavier and accelerate faster than conventional vehicles, which may result in more severe crashes
  • EVs have enhanced safety features that may counteract that risk
  • EVs are involved in fewer crashes than conventional vehicles

Contact Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Stephen Hoffman

As in all cases involving injury, auto accidents, or other injury and potential liability, if you have been hit by a vehicle immediately get medical treatment, report the crash to police and your own insurance company, and contact a lawyer with expertise in your type of case, such as bicycle accidents or pedestrians hit by cars.

If you've been in an accident and have questions, contact Chicago personal injury attorney Stephen L. Hoffman for a free consultation at (773) 944-9737. Stephen has over 30 years of legal experience and has collected millions of dollars for his clients. He is listed as a SuperLawyer, has a 10.0 rating on Avvo, and is BBB A+ accredited. He is also an Executive Level Member of the Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce.

Stephen handles personal injury claims on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay anything up front and he only gets paid if you do. Don’t wait another day; contact Stephen now.

Categories: Personal Injury