Traffic fatalities have been rising in recent years and when new models of super-heavy electric vehicles hit the streets, things could get even worse.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated 31,720 people died in motor vehicle crashes from January through September 2021, an increase of about 12% from the 28,325 fatalities projected for the first nine months of 2020.
That’s really bad. But according to Bloomberg, auto industry experts are concerned that a new wave of electric trucks and SUVs are tipping the scales at levels that could turn auto accidents even more dangerous than normal.
Take for instance, the 2022 GMC Hummer EV, which weighs in at an eye-popping 9,000 pounds and packs a 1,000 horsepower motor, giving it “vision-blurring acceleration,” according to Car and Driver. It carries a huge $110,000 price tag so it’s likely you won’t see too many of them out on the road. But if you do, try your hardest not to get into a head-on collision with it while driving your 2007 Honda Fit.
The Hummer EV is a fairly extreme case of a super-heavy electric vehicle but, as Jalopnik points out, there are plenty of other EVs that push past the 5,000 pound mark like the Audi e tron, Lucid Air and Cadillac LYRIQ. And Consumer Reports pointed out that these vehicles can need as much as 163 feet to fully stop when traveling at 70 miles per hour. By comparison, the National Association of City Transportation Officials says the average is around 120 to 140 feet.
Of course, there are tons of extremely heavy gas-powered vehicles out on the road today and they pose plenty of risk to fellow motorists, too, while not providing the environmental benefits of EVs. Still, 9,000 pounds is crazy.
So maybe, if you’re behind the wheel of your Hummer EV and you see a 2011 Chevy Aveo cruising down the road, or vice versa, try to give yourselves plenty of space.
Drive safe everyone.