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New Noise Standards for Hybrids

Hybrid vehicles are a growing trend throughout the world due to the significantly lower fuel consumption and emissions, which is good for both the environment and the wallets of consumers.  Many hybrids drivers claim driving the vehicles is also a particularly peaceful experience, due to the very low, almost nonexistent noise from the engine, especially at a stop or low speeds.  This quiet ride has had unexpected consequences, however, as bicyclists, pedestrians, and other bystanders cannot hear the vehicle coming.  Blind or visually impaired bystanders may be especially affected, as they have absolutely no indicator that a car is headed toward them.  This has caused a growing number of bicycle accidents and pedestrian accidents among hybrid cars.  If you have been injured in an accident by a hybrid vehicle, call a Palmetto accident attorney today as you could be reimbursed for your injuries.

 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, along with the National Federation for the Blind, has proposed new legislation as part of the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010, which would require hybrid vehicles to make some noise.  The legislation, titled the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 141, proposes a minimum noise standard for all hybrid cars traveling under 18 miles per hour, since hybrids are particularly difficult to hear at slow speeds.  Car manufacturers will be able to choose the specific noise their type of hybrid makes, and the level of noise may not be below or exceed minimum or maximum noise standards.

 

The United States Secretary of Transportation made an announcement that the NHTSA holds safety of all people on the road as its number one priority, whether they are motorists, bicyclists, motorcyclists, or pedestrians.  The NHTSA estimates that the new noise standard for hybrids will save 35 lives and prevent 2,800 additional accident injuries per every model year of hybrids.

 

If you have been in a pedestrian accident or bicycle accident with a hybrid car and  have been injured, it is important to contact an experienced auto accident attorney in Palmetto at (770) 487-8999 as soon as possible.  The Law Offices of Shane Smith are here to evaluate your case and help you recover for your injuries.


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia