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Federal Proposal Recommends Noisemaking Devices in Hybrid, Electric Cars

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), electric vehicles and hybrids have turned a quiet ride into a dangerous situation. The NHTSA is encouraging manufacturers to add sounds to energy efficient cars to prevent auto and pedestrian accidents.

The NHTSA estimates that approximately 2,800 pedestrian and cyclist injuries would be prevented over the life of a vehicle for each model year of an electric or hybrid vehicle with an artificial noisemaker. The Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010 established the artificial noise rule for hybrids and electric cars.

Consulting a Clayton County attorney after an auto accident or a pedestrian accident enhances a victim's ability to receive a reasonable settlement. If you have been injured in an automobile accident involving a hybrid or electric car you should discuss your case with an accident attorney at the Law Offices of Shane Smith.

The NHTSA recommends that the noise devices activate whenever a hybrid or electric car travels less than 18 miles per hour. Data indicates that many accidents involving such vehicles occur at low speeds because pedestrians and other automobiles cannot hear the energy efficient cars. The NHTSA recommendations indicate that the vehicles are loud enough to be heard at higher speeds.

The NHTSA recommendation is the first step toward a mandate for electric and hybrid car manufacturers to install noisemaking devices. The rule would cover cars, buses and trucks. Visually impaired pedestrians and children are believed to be at high risk because hybrid vehicles emit low noise levels. 

An NHTSA study found that electric and hybrid vehicles were involved in a disproportionate number of accidents involving pedestrians, compared to gas-powered vehicles. A separate study found that electric cars were dangerous for visually impaired pedestrians.

If you or someone you know has been hurt by a hybrid or electric car, meet with a Clayton County auto accident lawyer. Call the Law Offices of Shane Smith to schedule a free legal consultation.


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia