The quietness of electric cars poses a potential risk for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Electric cars are silent and eco-friendly, promising low running costs, minimal noise, and green operations. Electric cars and hybrids are nearly silent and offer maximum comfort. However, this quietness also poses potential risks on the roadway. Pedestrians can easily hear the sound of trucks, motorcycles, and cars passing by, but battery-powered cars are barely audible. Electric cars give no audible indications when it starts moving. This poses a risk for pedestrian accidents.
Pedestrians and Bicyclists at Risk
Children and pedestrians and cyclists wearing headphones are at an even higher risk of getting into an accident with an electric car. This problem is significant in loud urban areas where traveling electric cars are too silent to be audible.
In 2013, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) highlighted the need for electric and hybrid vehicles to give a warning when moving at slower speeds; seeing and hearing offers the best defense against the risk of getting hit or run over by a motor vehicle. According to NHTSA, noise-emitting devices on electric cars could prevent almost 3,000 pedestrian and cyclist accidents each year. A study conducted in 2011 concluded that electric vehicles pose twice the risk of an accident when starting, stopping, slowing, backing up, or when entering or leaving parking lots or driveways.
If federal or state governments mandate for electric cars and hybrids to emit a warning to alert its presence, the device will have to be installed so that the pedestrians are aware of its location and whether it is moving toward or away from them. Also, it needs to be ensured that the sound does not interfere with other signals such as horns, sirens, and backup signals. It is also important that the sound is standardized so that pedestrians and cyclists can easily identify it.
Chicago Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, contact a Chicago car accident lawyer to file a claim. Call Willens Law Offices at (312) 957-4166 for a free consultation.