Hybrid Car Safety

Consumers across the country are praising low emission hybrid cars, and while emergency service workers say the cars are reliable and good for the environment, there are a few precautions to take if you should be involved in an accident with one.

If you're looking to purchase a popular Prius hybrid at Thomasville Toyota, be prepared to be on a waiting list for at least several months!

Jerald Gilbert of Thomasville Toyota says, "The main focus of the car is not gas mileage, although it's better than most cars. It's the emissions, which are almost nonexistent."

Experts say hybrid cars are hot sellers because they get close to 50 miles to the gallon, are good for the environment and prices start at under $25,000, but if you get into an accident with one they say 500 volts of electricity in the battery pack could be fatal.

Mechanics say five minutes after the key is taken out of the ignition all electric current in a hybrid car is shut off, but emergency service workers say there are still plenty of things they have to be careful of when approaching a hybrid car accident.

"The main hazard in a bad collision would be the battery acid, because they do have 12 battery packs with a substance in them. The main thing they tell us is not to cut orange-colored wires, because it could produce a shock," says LT Mark Sealy, a Thomasville paramedic.

All in all, however, EMTs say these cars are very safe for passengers as well as for the environment, and as their popularity increases, so does the amount of training emergency workers receive to learn more about them.

The majority of dealerships offer information packs on hybrid cars for first responders and for anyone else who is concerned about the safety of their vehicle.