What Is the Risk of the Hybrid Car?

by Eric Bagai

Hybrid cars offer tremendous savings on gas and are much more environmental friendly than the conventional cars. But, hybrid cars pose certain risks. If you opt for a hybrid car, it is important that you should be aware of the risks and ensure that safeguards are in place so as to avoid future accidents.

Risks to Blind

A study conducted by University of California, Riverside has found that the low audibility of hybrid cars pose risks of accidents to the blind. The hybrid cars have very quiet engines and the study has shown that the blind find it difficult to judge the position of the cars. If hybrid cars go at slow speed, it is so quiet that it gives very less time for pedestrians to react and even lesser for the blind.

Electromagnetic Field in Hybrid cars

Long-term exposure to strong electromagnetic fields poses health risks to the people. Studies done at the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute says that over-exposure can lead to even risks of specific cancer. But, there is no proof that the electromagnet field (EMF) in hybrid cars would directly lead to health concerns. More research is required to prove or disprove the danger of EMF in hybrid cars. The problem is that there is no standard set for EMF level in cars.

Other Risks

Hybrid cars use high-voltage batteries and therefore there is more risk toward electric shocks and acid pills during accidents. The cables connecting the battery to the engine can rupture, leading to leakage.

Safety Measures

The battery in hybrid cars poses certain risks. But, stringent safety measures are in place so as to reduce the risks. The battery is placed at the back of the car so that the car is protected from electric shock that might occur during accidents. Even a punch of up to 300 volts can be handled by the battery placed at the rear of the car. Automatic cutoffs are also placed, which acts as a safeguard against any leakage that occurs. Also, even if the battery in a hybrid car is damaged, there would not be any acid spills as in conventional batteries. Conventional batteries use liquid electrolyte but in hybrid battery, the liquid remains in paste form which prevents or reduces the acid spill in case of an accident.

Carmaker’s Stand

The car manufacturers play down the risk. Toyota, in a company statement, had said that the EMF levels of hybrid cars are as low as that of the conventional cars and hence there is no additional risk to the drivers or passengers. Moreover, the car manufacturers state that whatever risks posed is well taken care of by the stringent safety measures.

About the Author

Eric Bagai is a senior writer in the high-technology field, to which he can offer more than seven years of experience as a copywriter. He has written several articles for eHow and holds a Master of Arts in creative writing from Oregon State University.