Open Accessibility Menu

Making Electric Cars Noisier to Make Them Safer?

Casey Woodruff

Traffic noise can be maddening. As anyone who has ever tried to study, work or enjoy quiet relaxation near a busy street can attest, traffic noise is often a frustrating source of noise pollution. However, certain levels of traffic noise actually help to prevent auto accidents. Specifically, an increasing number of pedestrians are being hit by hybrid cars that are so quiet that walkers and joggers do not hear them coming.

In an effort to bridge the gap between the pleasing quiet of hybrid cars and the danger that these nearly silent vehicles pose to pedestrians and cyclists, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recently proposed standards for hybrid noise levels in certain situations.

Under the new standards, auto manufacturers would have to adhere to minimum noise requirements when their hybrid or electrical vehicles are traveling at particularly low speeds. When hybrids travel under 20 miles an hour or so, they tend to be particularly quiet, as they do not operate on traditional engines at these speeds.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood explained the aim of the new standards recently when he said that “Safety is our highest priority, and this proposal will help keep everyone using our nation’s streets and roadways safe, whether they are motorists, bicyclists or pedestrians, and especially the blind and visually impaired.”

If the new standards are as successful as the NHTSA hopes that they will be, nearly 3,000 fewer cyclists and pedestrians will be injured each year due to preventable collisions with hybrid vehicles. Though traffic noise can be frustrating, there are times at which it is necessary.

Source: CNN Money, “Electric cars may get noisier,” Emily Jane Fox, Jan. 7, 2013

Categories:
  • "I had an awesome experience with Dexter Evans!"

    "I was recently injured in an auto accident and Dexter Evans handled my case. He is the best. Awesome experience. Definitely would recommend to anyone!"

  • "They always keep in touch & are quick to respond."

    "I want to thank attorney Jon Walker for all his work on my worker's comp case. He explains everything in detail to you so you understand. Always kept in touch, you didn't have ..."

  • "I will definitely recommend them!"

    "I was injured in an auto accident and Dexter Evans handled my case. He was awesome. I will definitely recommend them to friends and family."

  • "I was very happy with the outcome of my case!"

    "A friend referred me to Woodruff Johnson & Evans. Attorney Jay Johnson explained the process so that I understood what was going on with my case. He was responsive to my ..."

  • "I was very satisfied with the results!"

    "I was referred to Woodruff Johnson & Evans by a friend who had used them in the past. Everyone I had contact with was so kind and polite. My lawyer, Jay Johnson, explained the ..."

  • "Woodruff Johnson & Evans helped settled my case when the insurance company refused to pay my medical bill!"

    "I consulted the lawyers from Woodruff Johnson & Evans and they settled my case when the insurance company refused to pay my medical bill! I think I will recommend people to ..."

  • "Dexter Evans was incredible at handling my auto-accident case & provided constant communication about any questions or concerns I had!"

    "Dexter (DJ) Evans was incredible at handling my auto-accident case and provided constant communication about any questions or concerns I had. He addressed every concern I had ..."

  • "Steven was helpful in preparing me for a deposition and was very instrumental in gathering details about the location of my slip and fall!"

    "Steven was helpful in preparing me for a deposition and was very instrumental in gathering details about the location of my slip and fall. He negotiated what I thought was a ..."

View All Testimonials

Get Your Free Consultation

  • Please enter your First Name.
  • Please enter your Last Name.
  • This isn't a valid phone number.
    Please enter your phone number.
    You entered an invalid number.
  • This isn't a valid email address.
    Please enter your email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.