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Heavy Electric Vehicles Can Pose Dangers to Others

When Going Green Puts Road Users in Danger

Consumers in Pennsylvania and around the country purchase electric vehicles for the most part to lower their fuel bills and do their part to protect the environment. The first EVs to sell in large numbers in the United States were small and light hybrid models like the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight that used small electric motors to improve their gas mileage, but the EVs that consumers are lining up to buy today are very different. Americans now choose large SUVs and pickup trucks over compact city cars, and auto manufacturers have responded to this change in consumer tastes by introducing a new generation of EVs.

Heavy Battery Packs

The latest large pickup trucks and SUVs are a new generation of EVs backed by up to $7,500 in government subsidies and with ranges of up to 300 miles. They are able to travel long distances without recharging because they have much larger lithium-ion power packs, and those batteries are very heavy. Switching from gas to electric power adds up to 3,000 pounds to the weight of a Ford F-150 pickup truck, and the battery pack fitted to the GMC Hummer EV weighs as much as a Toyota Corolla. Most large electric pickup trucks and SUVs weigh more than 3 tons, and the GMC Hummer EV tips the scales at almost 5 tons.

Accident Risks

All of that extra weight poses a danger to road users because heavy vehicles cause more serious car accidents. When researchers from the National Transportation Safety Board studied the impact that added weight has on accident injuries, they found that the chances of being killed in a crash increase by almost 50% when one of the vehicles involved outweighs the other by 1,000 pounds. The NTSB researchers also discovered that fatalities are even more likely when the striking vehicle is an SUV or pickup truck.

Speed Amplifies the Dangers

Newton’s second law of motion states that the force of a moving object is determined by both its mass and its acceleration. Electric SUVs and pickup trucks like the Hummer EV and Ford F-150 Lightning EV are extremely heavy, and they are also very fast. Reaching 60 mph in about 3 seconds used to require a high-performance sports car, but this feat can now be accomplished from behind the wheel of an SUV or pickup truck. This combination of weight and speed has led some officials to question the government’s push to move away from internal combustion engines in favor of EVs. In January 2023, the head of the NTSB voiced concerns about the “unintended consequences” of this policy in a speech made to the Transportation Research Board.

Heavy Batteries Are Here to Stay

Large pickup trucks and SUVs are more popular than ever, and electric power is the way of the future. Scientists are working on ways to store more energy in smaller batteries, but experts think that a breakthrough could be years or even decades away. If you live in the Lehigh Valley and suffer accident injuries in a crash caused by another person’s reckless or negligent behavior, an Allentown personal injury attorney could explain your legal options and advocate on your behalf.

Seeking Compensation After a Car Accident

Drivers have a duty of care to do everything they reasonably can to avoid accidents, and this is especially true if they drive vehicles that are likely to cause more serious injuries. If you are injured in an accident caused by a speeding, distracted, fatigued or impaired driver, an Allentown personal injury attorney could file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf to seek compensation for your injuries. The Pennsylvania law firm of Metzger & Kleiner has more than 40 years of experience in this area. If you would like to schedule a consultation at our office to discuss the details of your case, you can call us at (610) 435-7400 or complete our online form.

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