Inverness, FL – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants all electric and hybrid vehicles to make some sort of noise when traveling at under 18 miles per hour so that walkers, bicyclists and the visually impaired can hear them coming.
The government believes that because these cars produce little to no noise when traveling at low speeds this could result in increased pedestrian injuries.
The cars make enough noise to be heard when traveling at higher speeds.
New regulations would allow automakers to pick any sound they like from a variety of choices. Similar cars would need to give off the same sounds. The NHTSA says that pedestrians must be able to hear the sounds over background noises.
The NHTSA is encouraging the public to comment on the proposed rule. The agency will allot 60 days for feedback, and then use public input to compose a final rule.
Electric cars can operate so quietly that it is not uncommon for pedestrians to not be able to hear them approaching. According to the NHTSA, there are 2,800 electric vehicle-related pedestrian accident injuries annually, many of which result in severe or catastrophic injuries. Because electric and hybrid vehicles are becoming increasingly popular throughout the U.S., we are seeing more and more of these vehicles on the roadways, which could potentially pose a huge safety issue.
While some electric vehicles, like the Nissan Leaf and Fisker Karma, already have addressed the noise issues by implementing certain safety measures, the NHTSA believes that making noises mandatory for all electric and hybrid models could cut the number of pedestrian-related injuries by thousands every year. It is estimated that the new “sound technology” would cost manufacturers around $30 per vehicle, a small price to pay to prevent serious accidents and save lives. However, this new proposal is in the beginning stages and will take some time before it becomes a final rule. In the meantime, if you or a loved one is injured or killed in a pedestrian accident involving an electric or hybrid vehicle, you still have rights. A Citrus County Pedestrian Accident Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can help you understand your legal options and hold any responsible parties accountable for your losses. Contact us today online or call our Inverness office at 352-726-0078.