Our Chicago car accident attorneys read proposed standards of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for electric and hybrid vehicles to make noise. These vehicles are much quieter at low speeds than traditional gas or diesel powered vehicles making them harder to detect by pedestrians and bike riders.
NHTSA Administrator David Strickland stated: “Our proposal would allow manufactures the flexibility to design different sounds for different makes and models while still providing an opportunity for pedestrians, bicyclists and the visually impaired to detect and recognize a vehicle and make a decision about whether it is safe to cross the street.”
The NHTSA proposal would require electric vehicles traveling under 18 miles per hour to make sufficient noise so that pedestrians and bicyclists could detect them even when factoring in street noise and background noise. Each make and model would be required to emit the same sound.
Most people take it for granted that cars make noise and many times it is the noise the car makes is what alerts the pedestrian or bicyclist to its presence.