Do Electric Vehicles Have Better Overall Safety?

January 29th, 2024 by

Electric vehicles are more popular than ever. According to Statista’s most recent Electric Vehicle Market Report, the global market for EVs grew by over 55% in 2022, with sales of over 10.5 million cars worldwide. In the United States alone, EV sales grew by over 250%, also according to Statista

But with more electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids on the road, consumers have questions about the overall safety of EVs compared to gas-powered cars. A 2023 survey by Deloitte showed that 30% of United States consumers list EV battery safety as a primary concern. And EV batteries are only one aspect of vehicle safety. People looking to make the switch from gas to electric vehicles often wonder if EVs are subject to the same safety standards as other cars.

Are EVs Safer to Drive Than Gas Cars?

The short answer to this question is: electric vehicles are at least as safe, if not safer, than gas-powered cars. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “safety is at the forefront of electric vehicle development.” And the EPA says that the idea that electric vehicles aren’t as safe as gas vehicles is a myth, stating that “electric vehicles must meet the same safety standards as conventional vehicles.”

So let’s break down electric vehicle safety concerns one by one.

Electric Vehicle Battery Safety Standards


EV battery recalls and news stories about lithium-ion batteries catching fire have led some consumers to question whether the batteries in EVs are safe. The truth is, a 2024 study by Auto Insurance EZ found that EVs are significantly less likely to catch fire than hybrid or gas cars. In fact, the latest data shows that electric vehicles average 25 fires per 100K vehicles sold. Compare that to 3,474 fires per 100K hybrid vehicles sold and about 1,530 fires per 100K gas vehicles sold.

A chart showing that EVs have fewer car fires than gas cars

If that’s not enough, NHTSA has established a Battery Safety Initiative for Electric Vehicles to track and address safety incidents related to EV batteries. Among other things, the initiative will conduct research on:

  • Battery diagnostics and prognostics
  • Battery Management System (BMS) cybersecurity
  • High-voltage battery charging failure modes and effects analysis

The fact is, EV battery fires happen very, very rarely — whereas gas-powered vehicles are (duh) powered by gas, a highly flammable substance that catches fire much more frequently in collisions.

Electric Vehicle Driving Safety

So, are electric vehicles safe to drive? EVs are generally much heavier than gas cars, due in large part to the weight of the battery. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), “a bigger, heavier vehicle provides better crash protection than a smaller, lighter one, assuming no other differences between them.” 

And for those concerned about the safety of smaller cars that collide with EVs, IIHS says that “large vehicles aren’t as big a threat to people in small vehicles as they used to be.” When it comes to EVs, the lower center of gravity caused by battery placement means these cars are less likely to “plow over” smaller, lighter cars compared to larger gas-powered vehicles such as big SUVs and trucks.

IIHS also says that “rates of injury claims related to the drivers and passengers of electric vehicles were more than 40 percent lower than for identical conventional models.”

Safety Features of Electric Vehicles

As more car manufacturers enter the EV market, these vehicles are coming tricked out with the latest innovations in safety technology. Common EV safety features include:

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)

Your speed and distance co-pilot. This feature not only makes driving a breeze for everyone but also provides a significant advantage for the elderly, ensuring a safer and more controlled driving experience. ACC adjusts your speed based on the traffic flow, maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle in front.

Front Collision Warning and Auto Braking System

This superhero-like radar aids in collision avoidance, offering faster response times. This is a true blessing for all drivers, providing an extra layer of safety. The system can detect potential collisions and, if necessary, automatically engage the brakes to prevent or mitigate the impact.

Blind Spot Warning (BSW)

Seamlessly merging into lanes on the highway without second-guessing is now a reality. For those with light sensitivity, BSW provides visual alerts without harsh lighting, making the driving experience more comfortable and accommodating. It warns you if there’s a vehicle in your blind spot, ensuring safer lane changes.

Forward-Rear Collision System 

A guardian for detecting potential hazards for everyone, this system becomes invaluable for those who might need an extra set of eyes on the road. Advanced warning and braking capabilities offer an extra layer of collision avoidance assistance, contributing to a safer driving experience.

Lane Keep Assist (LKA)

A fantastic aid for everyone, LKA becomes a true blessing for those who might need a little extra help maintaining a steady course. This feature ensures a safer journey by assisting with steering to keep the vehicle centered within the lane, promoting safe driving habits.

Auto-Dimming Mirrors

An unsung hero for those with light sensitivity. Driving at night without being blinded by headlights behind you is now a reality. This feature not only enhances safety for everyone but also becomes a comfort feature for those who might be more sensitive to light.

Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB)

This feature detects an impending collision with another vehicle or obstacle and automatically applies the brakes if the driver doesn’t respond in time. It’s like having a vigilant co-pilot, providing an additional layer of safety on the road.

Electric Vehicles Have Better Overall Safety

As the most technically advanced vehicles on the road, electric vehicles are generally safer than their gasoline counterparts, both in terms of car fires and driving safety. At Green Wave Electric Vehicles, we have 30+ all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles for sale at our North Hampton, NH showroom. Contact us for more information about the safety features of any of our available EV inventory.


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