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To Protect Pedestrians NHTSA Proposes Minimum Sound Requirement

By Alpert Schreyer on April 4, 2013

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is proposing a minimum sound requirement for electric and hybrid vehicles.  According to Cruise Car International, a NHTSA study has determined that hybrid and electric cars lead to more pedestrian and bicycle collisions than gas engine cars.  By making hybrid and electric cars just a little noisier, the NHTSA believes the number of pedestrian and bicycle accidents could be reduced by nearly 3,000.

It is natural to prefer silence over noise, but in the case of hybrid and electric vehicles, such silence could kill innocent pedestrians and bicyclists.  Hybrid vehicles are just as quiet as electric cars at low speeds when the gas engines are not in use.  Even at these slower speeds, crashes with pedestrians and bicyclists can cause severe injury.  The challenge is especially significant for those pedestrians who are visually impaired and count on being able to hear approaching motor vehicles.

NHTSA’s Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Number 141 would mandate that hybrid and electric vehicle manufacturers meet a minimum vehicle noise requirement when moving at speeds less than 18 miles per hour.   Sounds could be different so as to make each vehicle’s sound unique from the sounds of other vehicles.

The proposed new technology would cost vehicle manufacturers only $30 for each vehicle built.  The NHTSA believes this is a small price to pay to save nearly 3,000 pedestrian/bicyclist crashes with cars each year and ultimately to save lives.

Contact a Maryland Pedestrian Accident Attorney

While technology like noise makers for silent vehicles can improve pedestrian safety on U.S. streets and roads, it cannot prevent the carelessness of humans.  If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident that was the fault of the carelessness or negligence of another, contact the Maryland pedestrian accident lawyers at Alpert Schreyer.  Please call (844) 632-7274 for a no-cost discussion about the details of your case.

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