Hybrid and Electric Cars Now Required to Emit a Sound at Low Speeds

mother and child crosswalkIn an effort to reduce the number of pedestrian accidents, new federal regulations will require hybrid and electric car manufacturers to include a low-speed sound in all new vehicles.

Regulations from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) state that newly manufactured hybrid and electric cars with a gross weight average of 10,000 pounds or less must emit a noise when traveling at a speed of 19 mph or below.

Manufacturers must modify all hybrid and electric vehicles by Sept. 1, 2019. Half of hybrid and electric vehicles are required to have been modified within one year of the deadline.

Including a noise requirement on hybrid and electric vehicles, which are known to travel soundlessly at low speeds, adds to the NHTSA’s initiative to decrease the number of pedestrians killed in car accidents, an average of more than 4,000 each year.

NHTSA estimates show that the new sound requirements could help prevent 2,400 pedestrian deaths per year. The NHTSA’s regulation, entitled Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 141, comes in response to a congressional mandate in the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010 that hybrids and electric vehicles have an audible alert for the visually and hearing impaired.

Advocate groups are applauding the decision by the NHTSA and the effects it will have on pedestrian safety. The American Council of the Blind says the regulation brings the country one step closer to creating safer streets for those who are visually impaired and all other pedestrians who share the road with hybrid vehicles.

Pedestrian safety is a serious problem in Knoxville. Since 2011, 553 pedestrians have been hit by cars. City officials have received complaints of poor lighting, unsafe crosswalks, and increased pedestrian and vehicle traffic on some of Knoxville’s busiest roads.

Knoxville city officials are warning drivers to slow down when passing through intersections with busy crosswalks. A pedestrian struck by a vehicle while traveling at 20 mph or lower has a 90 percent chance to live. However, a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling at 40 mph has a 90 percent chance of dying.

While the NHTSA’s ruling may help to decrease the number of pedestrian accidents, the threat of being struck by a vehicle is still present. If you were injured or lost a loved one after being hit by a car, you may be entitled to compensation. The Knoxville car accident attorneys at Greg Coleman Law will provide you with a free consultation to review your claim and determine if you have a case. Our injury attorneys will work for free unless you receive compensation or a favorable verdict.

To start your free consultation call (865) 247-0080 or fill out a Free Case Evaluation Form.