Is It Safe to Drive a Toyota Hybrid?

April 24th, 2014 by

LOS ANGELES, CA. - DECEMBER 3: Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid on diToyota hybrids are steadily growing in popularity due to the many benefits they have to offer but there are still many people who avoid them because they believe these vehicles may not be safe to drive. This is really a shame because hybrids can greatly cut fuel cost and reduce harmful emissions that get released into the air. These are stylish vehicles that can help make our world a better place but many people have expressed safety concerns.

Toyota Hybrid Safety Concerns

There have been some concerns expressed in the past as to whether or not it is safe to drive a Toyota hybrid due to the high-voltage used to power the engine. Hybrids combine battery packs and high voltage cables with a gasoline engine, so it’s understandable that many people would have concerns as to how safe these vehicles really are.

The main concern is electrocution. If the high voltage cables that run under the passenger seat or the battery itself is exposed to the metal frame, the occupants of the vehicle or anyone else that comes in contact with it could be electrocuted.

The volts produced by hybrids are high enough to cause electrocution if you come in contact with it but safety measures are put in place to prevent this from happening. The main concern is what happens during an accident, so it helps to understand what safety measures are in place. This way, you can see how you’re protected in the event you’re involved in a crash.

Safety Precautions

While the voltage used in hybrids is high enough to cause electrocution, many safety precautions are in place to protect the driver, passengers and rescue workers that respond in the event of an accident. The battery is placed in an insulated metal box and put behind the rear passenger seat where it’s away from all metal parts of the vehicle. The box is labeled “high voltage” and is durable enough to withstand even a serious crash without damage. The cables that run from the motor to the battery are insulated in durable orange plastic casings and they’re also clearly marked.

Hybrid owners are given instructions in the vehicle manuals explaining how to shut off the electricity to the vehicle during an accident or any other time deemed necessary. In many cases, it’s as simple as turning off the ignition. Some vehicles are even designed with battery pack relays, which will disconnect the battery automatically in the event of an accident. However, each vehicle is different so you do want to read the manual to make sure you know what to do. As long as you follow the instructions, the risks of electrocution are highly unlikely.

So, What Does this All Mean?

All of the safety precautions put in place makes the Toyota hybrid just as safe to drive as any other vehicle. The voltage cables and batteries are insulated, clearly marked high voltage and placed in areas away from the occupants. The insulated casings are extremely durable and able to withstand a serious crash without being damaged.

These vehicles are also designed with the same safety features as traditional vehicles such as airbags and restraints that will help keep the occupants safe during a crash. Of course, any vehicle poses a safety risk when accidents occur but the hybrid is believed to be no more dangerous than any other vehicle on the road.

Posted in Car Buying