Can Electric Vehicles Increase Pedestrian Injuries in Washington State?

Whether you suffered a pedestrian accident injury involving an electric vehicle, a gas-powered car, or a large truck, your attorney will determine the most strategic path forward.

Residents of the Pacific Northwest are known for their dedication to protecting the natural world and the environment. Many people living in Portland and Vancouver drive electric vehicles to reduce gas emissions and lower their carbon footprint. However, while electric cars offer several benefits, their quietness and certain automated features have become legitimate safety concerns for pedestrians and cyclists. Those attempting to cross the street at busy intersections may find themselves injured by a distracted driver or a vehicle that failed to slow in time to avoid a collision. If you have suffered an accident as a pedestrian or cyclist in Portland, Vancouver, or Camas, you have the right to pursue compensation that can help cover the medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses resulting from the accident. It’s best to enlist the guidance of an experienced and compassionate personal injury attorney to ensure you maximize your settlement and secure the financial resources you need to support your recovery.

Potential Safety Hazards of Electric Vehicles

As more battery-powered cars and trucks enter the market, consumer protection agencies and auto safety experts are expressing their concerns about potential safety risks associated with these vehicles. Many electric vehicles tend to be heavier than their gas-burning counterparts, so a collision involving a battery-powered car may cause more significant damage or injuries. While crashes involving smaller EVs like the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Bolt do not appear to make pedestrian or cyclist injuries more severe, the upcoming release of large electric vehicles like the GMC Hummer EV, which weighs almost 9,100 pounds (essentially the equivalent of two Chevrolet Silverado pickup trucks) will likely lead to more severe and even catastrophic injuries. In recent years, researchers have discovered a direct correlation between pedestrian fatalities and the weight of the vehicle involved in the collision. However, the Highway Loss Data Institute conducted a 2020 study demonstrating that electric cars were associated with approximately 20 percent fewer claims than their gas-powered counterparts, but the severity of EV-related claims tended to be slightly higher.

Common Causes of Pedestrian Injuries

There are several factors that may increase the likelihood of suffering a pedestrian accident injury. Distracted drivers are more likely to collide with pedestrians and cyclists, as their eyes are not focused on the road, and they may fail to spot pedestrians in time to avoid a collision. Similarly, those operating cars or trucks while under the influence of drugs or alcohol usually have slower response times, increasing the likelihood of striking a pedestrian. Other factors like dimly-lit intersections, poor visibility, or road construction can make it harder for drivers to spot pedestrians. Vehicles making left turns may be too focused on other vehicles and fail to check for pedestrians crossing the intersection. Unfortunately, pedestrians who are struck by moving vehicles can suffer significant injuries that require extensive medical intervention and a long path to physical recovery.

What to Do After Suffering a Pedestrian Accident Injury

The moments, days, and weeks after suffering an auto-accident-related injury can be disorienting and overwhelming. Your top priority is your physical health and safety, so assess yourself and others at the scene for injuries and call for an ambulance if necessary. While you wait for the medical response team to arrive at the scene, exchange contact and insurance information with the driver who struck you. Even if you do not believe your injuries are severe enough to warrant immediate medical attention, you should visit your doctor within a few days of the accident to check for harder-to-detect issues, such as internal bleeding or traumatic brain injuries. This documentation of your injuries will be useful when you move forward with your claim, as it demonstrates that you took your injuries seriously and followed through with the recommended treatments, medications, and therapies.

How a Dedicated Portland and Vancouver Attorney Can Help

Aside from the painful physical recovery and financial stress associated with a pedestrian accident injury, it’s natural to feel anxious, emotional, or even depressed after this traumatic experience. Unfortunately, many accident victims may feel alone during this challenging time. However, it’s essential to recognize that you do not have to pursue compensation or navigate your physical recovery on your own. Enlisting the guidance of a trusted and compassionate personal injury attorney is the best way to ensure your claim is as strong and effective as possible, allowing you to recover the compensation you need to support your recovery. Your attorney will step in to handle tense negotiations with insurance companies, answer your questions, address your concerns, and help you move forward with greater clarity and confidence. Whether the pedestrian accident involved an electric vehicle, a gas-powered car, or a large truck, your attorney will determine the most strategic path forward.


If you need help seeking compensation following an auto accident in Portland or Vancouver, call Henderson Taylor Law Firm today at (360) 737-1478 to speak with a dedicated and compassionate attorney.