New safety tests carried out recently by the American Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have confirmed that electric cars perform well in crash tests. Results revealed that they are at least as safe as petrol and diesel vehicles, and, when driven by humans in a real life setting appear to perform even better. For anyone buying a new or used electric vehicle, safety ratings are an important consideration, and manufacturers are continuing to respond to feedback from tests and driving data to reduce the risk of accidents and improve safety levels further.
Preventing Pedestrian Accidents with Noise Emitters
Figures from the US Highway Loss Data Institute now show that personal injury claims for electric vehicles are around 40% lower than for combustion engine models. However, due to their quietness, EVs were initially held responsible for a greater number of collisions with pedestrians. The aftermath of an accident involving any type of car can be overwhelming, and when damages exceed policy limits, claiming appropriate compensation for any losses can be complicated. To reduce the risk of accidents, it became compulsory for all EVs to be fitted with an audible warning system, emitting sounds when travelling below 12mph to clearly alert pedestrians to their presence. The noise emitted must be within a certain frequency range, but manufacturers have been allowed to choose the type of sound used to alert pedestrians to the car’s presence when driving at low speed. Adjusting the noise to one that changes as the car speeds up or slows down gives road users more information about the status of the vehicle and further reduces the risk of a collision.
Protecting Drivers with Safer Batteries
While the battery and other high voltage electrical systems in an electric vehicle can potentially pose a fire risk, studies have shown that lithium ion battery systems are less likely to catch fire than other types of car fuel. To ensure safety levels remain high, testing batteries under different conditions can reveal any potential failures and give rise to improvements in design and manufacturing processes. Smart battery maintenance is also enhanced by 5G, as real-time data will ensure errors are identified more easily and battery charging is optimized.
Ongoing tests on electric vehicles reveal them to be at least as safe as petrol and diesel fuelled vehicles. Feedback from these tests, together with data from driving in real life settings, informs adjustments to their design and increases safety levels further.