BENTONVILLE, Ark. --
High gas prices have hybrid cars high on many drivers' wish lists, but the popularity of the energy efficient cars has many emergency crews going back to the classroom.
Crashed Hybrid Cars Can Pose Risks To Emergency Crews
Hybrid cars are excellent when it comes to fuel efficiency, but they run on a combination of gas and electricity and can pose a danger to emergency crews.
If the hybrid car is in an accident, there is a possibility that the car can be charged and dangerous to emergency crews, emergency officials said.
Across the area, fire departments are educating firefighters about safety issues involving hybrid cars when they are in accidents.
Almost all of the hybrids have a high voltage battery in the back. If a car is badly damage in an accident, the car could potentially be charged with 300 to 500 volts of electricity, officials said.
The high voltage lines are encased in orange to warn emergency crews, so they will know where to disable the battery, but even with the battery disabled high voltage lines inside the car could still be hot, which compromises the lifesaving equipment the fire department can use, officials said.
"With the newer models the high voltage battery cables, we are limited to where we can cut," said B.J. Hyde of the Bentonville Fire Department.
So if you're a good Samaritan and you see an accident involving a hybrid car, experts warned there is a danger to anyone who touches the car and that danger increases with the severity of the damage.
As technology changes with hybrid cars, emergency crews will continue to be updated and trained on newer models, officials said.