Quietness is a common attribute of hybrid vehicles. While this rarely poses a problem to the average person (in fact many people find this quality a positive one), there is one insular group out there to which this poses a threat; the visually impaired.
To address this issue, a group of carmakers and advocates for the blind have banded together to present to Congress a proposal for minimum noise levels that future electric and hybrid vehicles would be required to make.
An NHTSA study performed last year showed that hybrid vehicles tend to hit pedestrians more often than other types of vehicles in those scenarios where the approaching vehicle could not be seen. The language presented to Congress by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, Association of International Automobile Manufacturers, the American Council for the Blind, and the National Federation for the Blind, could become part of the Motor Safety Act of 2010; a bill currently before Congress that would create a whole host of new auto safety rules.
– By: Stephen Calogera