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This is probably an Urban Legend... September 12, 2004 11:53 PM

but i heard recently that a hybrid owner was electrocuted (and apparently killed!) just from touching one of the radio control buttons/knobs! the more i think about it, the less plausible it seems, and Google searches using various combinations of "hybrid," "Prius" (that's what the guy i heard it from said it was) and "death" resulted in ZILCH. i even searched my old faithful Urban Legends sites (i know of 3). certainly if such a thing HAD happened, it would NOT be this hard to find out about it! not only would it be in the news, there'd almost certainly be a huge recall, right? just wondering if anybody else had heard this, or knew of a site debunking it. thanks!  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Hybrid electrocution danger September 13, 2004 8:55 AM

A friend of mine is a paramedic, and he said thy had to take a course on how to aproach a hybrid in a accident, someone was killed getting a person out of a accident. If that scares you, the toyota matrix gets 45 mpg, is roomy, and you can find deals on them now.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
gasoline explosion danger September 13, 2004 9:08 AM

I have a friend who is a paramedic too. He said -- this is unbelievable -- in collisions, gasoline-powered cars sometimes BLOW UP! Can you believe that? Manufacturers have been hiding this knowledge for almost 80 years! I don't know why they have not started the recall yet. These cars are not safe!  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Someone could get killed September 13, 2004 9:21 AM

I believe the quote was "someone could get killed" and it evolved into "someone got killed". It is my understanding that it hasn't happened yet. Either way, it must be factored against the number killed today. Anything that lessens the danger of gasoline explosions makes rescue safer for the EMTs and makes the car safer for the occupants. That means smaller cars with smaller fuel tanks whether they are hybrids or not. Diesel or hydrogen rather than gasoline is a good move, too. I'm old enough to remember when the first televisions came out and the old fogies believed that TV would ruin your eyesight. A few years later color TV arrived, then they believed that black and white wouldn't hurt your eyes but color would! And of course seatbelts were resisted --- what if you ended up underwater and couldn't get out? And so on. There are always those who fear new technology. But we must remember that new technology is what allowed us onto wheels rather than hoofs, got us out of the coal-steam locomotive, took us beyond candles and kerosene lanterns, et cetera. And one day soon we'll laugh at those folks who feared hybrids too.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
knobs are plastic! lol September 15, 2004 7:35 AM

Um, the radio knobs, buttons, etc, are all plastic. They're just metallic-colored. You cannot get electrocuted from plastic. The only danger about hybrids is if there's a crash, and the rescuers wanted to cut open the car to get you out, they'd have to do it in a certain way to avoid cutting the main battery pack wires. That is all. Most firemen in decent-sized cities have gone thru some type of training to avoid this. Take the unlikely probability that a person, in a hybrid, will get in a crash so bad that they have to be *cut* out of the car (instead of just prying the door open), and it be done by a firefighter who wasn't trained in this, and well, it's a very low risk. :-)  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
electrocution September 15, 2004 7:19 PM

Consumer electrical systems have to pass rigorous tests. The only way you could get electrocuted from a hybrid car is if you ripped it open and wrapped yourself around the battery leads while sitting in a bath. And I do think that a hydrogen tank is more dangerous in a crash than a gasoline or diesel tank. hydrogen is extremely flammable, which is one of the technical hurdles that have to be gotten over before a hydrogen fuel cell car will be commercializable. (One of many.)  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Jay September 16, 2004 12:26 PM

>...hydrogen is extremely flammable...< But it has exceedingly low specific heat. It also rises so fast that most flame will be high above you rather than splashed on you. The reason people fear H2 is the film of the Hindenberg and the accompanying radio report ("Oh, the humanity!") Fact is, more than half the passengers and crew walked (ran) away with no injuries and some others injured survived. But it made a lot of news. Kerosene-powered aircraft carry a more dangerous fuel and everyone rides on them without worries. And gasoline is worse yet.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Re: This is probably an Urban Legend... September 22, 2004 1:35 AM

Thanks all for your reassuring input. Even if the story HAD been true, I was sold on the Prius when I first heard about it over 2 years ago, ain't nothing (except lack of $$$) gonna stop me from getting one! I guess now my hope is that some fool will start another of those wonderful email hoaxes that's absolute BS, a fake news story about somebody getting electrocuted just by adjusting the radio. . .since that's apparently what it takes for such rumors to be legitimately debunked on Urban Legend sites. an odd thing to hope for, i know. :  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 September 22, 2004 6:59 AM

^ if costs of Prius are a hinderance, consider other options. A used Prius may be good...since the 2004 models switched to a hatchback style, people have been going after those and ignoring the 2002 & 2003 models. If you like their style, try them out. Or look into the Honda Hybrids (Insight, Civic Hybrd, and, starting in 2005, the Accord Hybrid). They seem to be leaning towards more affordable than a new Prius.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
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