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New York police learn new techniques for electric car accidents

First responders, including police, firefighters and other emergency workers, need specialized training in order to cope with incidents involving electric cars. In car accidents involving such vehicles, special care must be taken because of the presence of sensitive vehicle components, specifically the battery pack contained in an electric vehicle. Such training has already been made widely available to firefighters, and now New York state police officers involved in accident investigation are also being provided with this needed training.

The first group of approximately 40 officers recently completed the training sessions. The aim is, in part, to make sure that unnecessary deaths or injuries do not get inflicted on responders while looking into crashes involving either purely electric or hybrid-electric cars. The training program used was developed in cooperation with the National Fire Protection Association.

The problem is that in some crashes, the high voltage electrical propulsion systems in the vehicles may be damaged and compromised, potentially exposing investigators and occupants of the cars involved to dangerous electrical shocks. The fragility of some green car battery packs has already led GM and Fisker Automotive to issue recalls of some battery packs believed to be defective.

Officers involved in the training were given a live demonstration of how to approach a potentially compromised electric vehicle following a collision. The accident investigators will subsequently be involved in helping to train all other New York state troopers.

Providing this training has become more important as electric cars come into more widespread use. It is hoped that providing this knowledge to police, who are often the first to arrive at the scene of an accident, will both protect their own safety and enhance their ability to provide assistance to accident victims.

Source: Earth Techling, "EV Accident Handling Training A Focus Of New York Police," Nino Marchetti, Oct. 26, 2012

· Our firm represents victims in a wide variety of car accidents and other personal injury cases. To learn more about our practice, please visit our Newark, New Jersey, car accidents page.

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