I'm sure you must have heard about the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, also known as NHTSA. It's a United States Government Organisation that crash tests vehicles for their safety and rates them on a scale of one to five in the form of stars.

I remember reading a report by Greenstein & Milbauer that highlights four of the most common types of car accidents.

  • Head-on collision

  • Rear-end accidents

  • T-bone crashes

  • Sideswipe accidents

Gasoline cars are typically seen everywhere, as they're commonly used by people out there. We know how well traditional gasoline vehicles perform under all such conditions, but what about the electric vehicles? Are you wondering what these crash test ratings have to say about electric cars?

electric cars

Other than the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there's a private organization, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) That also performs similar crash tests. They rate vehicles as poor, marginal, acceptable, or good. 

Both organizations are currently performing crash tests on the majority of electric car models. As a matter of fact, they've given high marks to most of the electric vehicles.

Here I'm going to list down the details behind a few standard crash tests these organizations perform:

Head-On Collisions

One of the frequently performed crash sets by NHTSA is a head-on collision test that simulates two vehicles traveling at 35mph. There's no need to panic; all such tests are performed on test dummies and not human beings.

Test dummies that are wearing standard seatbelts measure forces on the body during impact. These types of collisions statistically represent most of the auto fatalities. Almost all the electric vehicles tested so far have received high ratings for this particular test.

The IIHS doesn't exactly perform this test. Instead, they perform frontal-crash overlap tests at 40mph by crashing into a solid barrier.

In the frontal-crash overlap test, usually, the 25% front of the car is hit. The great thing is that all electric vehicles received high ratings for this test from both organizations.

Rear-End Accidents

Most of the drivers typically are unable to see a rear-end accident coming their way. Even though such accidents are not as deadly as head-on collisions, they can be injurious.

They can lead you to concussions, multiple bone fractures, or herniated discs, or even brain injuries in severe cases. The NHTSA doesn't usually reveal the results of rear-end accidents to the public, maybe due to security concerns.

On the other hand, the IIHS performs this test with the vehicle's seat mounted to a partially moving sled that simulates the car being hit in the rear at 20mph.

As a result, IIHS has found that the head-restraint design provides the best protection for such types of car crashes.

The best part of the story is that most of the electric vehicles scored above average in this test, which clearly indicates that they're relatively safe as compared to gasoline cars.

T-Bone Crashes

One of the world's infamous insurance companies, the Liberty Mutual Insurance, explains, "The NHTSA performs this test by hitting the vehicle from the side with a 3,000-pound vehicle moving at a speed of 38.5mph. They also run a second side-impact test that measures the chance of injury if the vehicle has a side impact with a pole at 20mph."

This test is performed by IIHS, where they use a large SUV-style barrier to impact the vehicle from the side at 31mph. Again, electric cars have been winning this test.

According to the recent results, electric cars have been awarded high marks for this test from both organizations, IIHS and NHTSA.

Side-Swipe Accidents

The NHTSA doesn't perform this exact test. The IIHS conducts a moderate overlap front test where a prominent side of the vehicle is swiped against a barrier.

They also perform a small overlap test where one side of the bumper hits another car or any solid object. Just put the record straight, it's a significantly difficult test for more vehicles as they hardly score high ratings.

Why is it difficult? The reasons may vary from one car to another, but mostly it's because the front crumple zones fail to run across the full front of the car due to wheel and suspension design requirements.

As mentioned earlier, a massive number of vehicles receive pretty low ratings in this test. Still, electric cars have managed to score acceptable ratings, which speaks volumes about their quality and design philosophy.

The Takeaway

One thing that you need to remember here is that regardless of the amount of damage that your electric car may have taken, you're still going to have options to pursue compensation for the injuries and damages caused by the driver at the front.

Please make sure to collect all the required information as it will be necessary for your claim. Be ready to defend your choice in electric cars as insurance companies and authorized parties may have differing opinions on how electric vehicles play into car accidents.

They may or may not believe that your car isn't the culprit behind the accident. Henceforth, it would be best if you gather the necessary information ahead of time.

Also, you must ensure to keep the battery and charging system of your car in check. A little fault can bounce back and disturb the insurance claim you've made. Battle Born LiFePO4 and Renogy Li 12V 100Ah are the two reliable options if you're looking for a new battery for your car.

Wrapping it up, I'd like to clarify that electric vehicles have good overall crash ratings that meet or exceed their gasoline counterparts. There are many ways in which electric cars have improved so far. Thereby, it won't be wrong to say that we may have even safer and smarter vehicles in just a few years than we could never imagine.


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