When shopping for a new car, you might be wondering if electric vehicles are safer than traditional gas vehicles. Safety is paramount when choosing a vehicle — and for good reason. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), approximately 40,000 people died in automobile collisions in 2016, up 6 percent from the year prior. So, are electric vehicles safer than gas vehicles?
According to Bachus & Schanker, 6.2 million car crashes occur every year. The number of highway crashes that have resulted in fires has dropped over the last thirty years from nearly half a million in 1980 to 174,000 in 2015, with the sharpest drop happening since 2007. Some of that drop can be attributed to improvements in fuel injector technology and other safety features found in modern vehicles. But the increased incidence of electric vehicles on America’s roads is certainly making roads safer! Because they are powered by batteries instead of flammable gasoline, electric vehicles have a lower risk of fire than their gas counterparts. Granted, lithium-ion batteries — the kind used in electric vehicles — can burn, but there’s a very low risk of this happening when compared to gas vehicles. And given the recent improvements in lithium-ion technology, we’ll likely see even fewer electric vehicle fires in the years to come.
Electric vehicles are also safer than gas vehicles simply because they don’t produce emissions. When a traditional gas vehicle burns fuel, it produces exhaust gasses like carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide as a byproduct. In addition to polluting the atmosphere, these exhaust gasses contribute to illness and disease.
According to research cited by The Sacramento Bee, roughly 9,000 people die each year from exposure to airborne particulate matter. In other words, the thick smog produced by gas-burning cars and trucks fills the air and subsequently contributes to fatal illnesses like heart disease and cancer. Electric vehicles don’t produce any emissions. They are completely green and environmentally friendly.
Electric vehicles are also easier to maintain, reducing the risk of collisions caused by faulty systems. Both electric and gas vehicles have required maintenance. However, systems like braking on electric vehicles last longer and require less maintenance than those on gas vehicles. If plan on buying an electric vehicle, refer to the owner’s manual for more information on required maintenance. Following these recommendations will allow you to get countless years of use out of your new electric vehicle.
As you can see, electric vehicles are generally safer than gas vehicles. They are less likely to catch fire, don’t produce exhaust gasses, and they are easier to maintain.