Special risk management for accidents involving electric cars
The market for electric and hybrid cars is growing as more and more people wish to contribute to reducing carbon dioxide emissions. It is estimated that, today, there are more than 100,000 fully or partially electric vehicles on the Swedish roads. What many do not know is that a collision with an electric car poses entirely new risks. SOS International will now train all towing workers in its Swedish roadside assistance network on how to safely handle electric cars.
Risk of fire and electric shock
The risk management required in the event of an accident involving an electric car is entirely different. Fire and water pose a special danger. Water may conduct current and the battery may burst into fire. A burning battery is also particularly difficult to extinguish. If the wires in the electric car are exposed, there is also a significant risk of the person handling the car getting an electric shock. Due to these risks, in the event of an accident, it is a good idea to contact roadside assistance immediately.
In 2020, SOS International began training all towing workers in its roadside assistance network in how to handle an electric car that has been involved in an accident:
- You need specific knowledge, not least to ensure the safety of the everyone in the vicinity. Oftentimes, the roads will have to be blocked off by a much greater margin than in the case of traffic accidents involving petrol- or diesel-powered vehicles. Everything must be done to protect everyone in the vicinity in the event of a fire or an explosion, says Markku Reinikainen, Network Manager at SOS International.
The vast majority of electric cars may only be transported on a flatbed. This means that they must not be towed. If an electric car is towed, this could cause irreparable damage to the powertrain and battery of the vehicle, as the electric motor then acts as a generator and thus sends electricity in the "wrong direction". Some electric cars have special settings that must be activated when towing the vehicle. Well-trained roadside assistance workers are familiar with all this and it is important that you do not try to tow the vehicle yourself in case of e.g. an electric stop.
Do you want to know more? Contact:
Markku Reinikainen, Network Manager, SOS International