Noise Systems for Electric & Hybrid Cars?


Those quiet electric and hybrid cars could soon get a bit noisier. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will propose a rule requiring those vehicles to sound an alert to warn pedestrians of their presence.

“Even as we make giant leaps forward with hybrid and electric vehicles, we must remain laser focused on safety,” NHTSA Administrator David Strickland said in a statement. “With more and more quiet vehicles on the road, we have to consider their effect on pedestrians.”

A 2009 NHTSA report found a higher rate of pedestrian accidents with hybrid vehicles as compared to gas-powered cars, according to a story from Bloomberg News.

A report the following year found that the virtually silent hybrid and electric motors could pose a safety risk to visually impaired pedestrians.

The plug-in electric Chevrolet Volt already has an alert system that is activated when the driver pulls the turn-signal handle.

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