Car battery explosions and electric vehicle battery pack explosions have the potential to cause serious injuries, particularly when they are the result of a car accident.
Electric vehicle battery pack explosions
In November, 2016 a Tesla Model S crashed into a tree in downtown Indianapolis, killing both of its passengers and bursting into flames. The impact of the collision caused battery cells to fire off in all directions. The car crash was caused when the driver lost control of the vehicle and slammed into a tree after traveling at a high rate of speed. Safety experts have expressed concerns about the danger of electric vehicle battery packs because they are usually made up of hundreds of little cells that contain a flammable liquid electrolyte. These cells can start a chain reaction in the case of a fiery crash. To prevent a lithium-ion battery fire from turning to an explosion, the electrolyte must be stopped from catching fire; if a fire does start it must be kept from spreading.
Car battery explosions
Car battery explosions happen for many different reasons but whatever the cause; there is a risk of acid burn injury or even death to those who are nearby.
Common causes of car battery explosions:
- Car crash: A car crash, particularly one precipitated by high speeds, can cause batteries to ignite and explode.
- Manufacturing defect: A manufacturing defect such as a loose connection inside a battery can result in an electrical arc jumping across the gap, igniting the hydrogen inside and causing an explosion.
- Bridge: A bridge may form between two plates when a battery is not properly monitored and maintained for low electrolyte levels. When this situation exists and a high current demand is placed on the battery, such as during a jumping process, an arc may be created that ignites the hydrogen gas and causes an explosion.
- Jumper cables attached in wrong order: Jumper cables can create dangerous electrical arcs if the clamps are placed on the dead battery terminal last. Always attach jumper cables to the dead battery first then to the live battery second.
- Tools being placed between battery terminals: Some people test batteries by placing a screw driver across the terminals to see if an arc jumps and is therefore supplying electrical energy. Unfortunately this can be dangerous because the current sent through the screw driver is not regulated; it can be very high and cause an explosion.
- Battery clamps: Loose or improperly secured battery clamps can create corrosion followed by electrical resistance and a possible arc ignition source.
All vehicles, whether powered by gas, pure electricity or hybrid carry the risk of battery explosion when they are part of a violent crash. If you or a loved one was the victim of a battery explosion call a personal injury lawyer after seeking appropriate medical care. He or she may be able to help you recover an insurance settlement several times what you could negotiate on your own.
If you or a loved one is dealing with an accident or injury, you have enough on your plate. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the justice and compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!