February 23, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- NHTSA proposes noise standards for hybrids
Article provided by Law Offices of Robert Hamparyan
Visit us at http://www.yourcaliforniaaccidentattorney.com
Due to rising gas prices, hybrid vehicles have become more popular in recent years. Although hybrids offer the latest technology and the highest fuel efficiency, they can be dangerous to bicyclists and pedestrians. The reason: they operate so silently at low speeds that it is very difficult to hear them as they approach.
To address the problem, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recently proposed requiring minimum sound standards for hybrids and electric vehicles to make it easier for people to hear them. The agency hopes that by adding sound to the vehicles, it will reduce the number of pedestrian and bicycle accidents.
Hybrid vehicles work differently than gas diesel vehicles, as hybrids do not use petroleum to power their engines when traveling at low speeds. Instead, hybrids rely on their batteries, making the vehicle much quieter and difficult to detect, even when standing next to the vehicle.
To reduce the danger of a collision with a bicyclist or pedestrian, the NHTSA, pursuant to the powers granted it by Congress in the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act, has proposed Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 151.
Under this safety standard, automakers would be free to design the sounds to make their vehicles audible. However, the NHTSA would require automakers to design sounds that meet certain minimum requirements, such as being loud enough to be heard over street and background noises when the vehicle is traveling under 18 miles-per-hour. Additionally, the NHTSA would require automakers to use the same sound on each vehicle of the same make and model.
If the proposal becomes effective, the NHTSA expects a reduction in pedestrian and bicycle injuries by 2,800 over the life of each hybrid vehicle model.
Consult an attorney
Pedestrian and bicycle accidents are a big problem in California, as well as throughout the United States. Hopefully the NHTSA new rules will work to decrease accident rates. However, silent hybrid vehicles are only a small part of a larger issue: driver negligence is responsible for most pedestrian and bicycle accidents.
Fortunately, California law allows victims of negligent drivers to hold them accountable. Those who are injured in a bicycle or pedestrian accident are entitled to file a lawsuit against the driver to recover expenses like pain and suffering, lost wages and present and future medical expenses.
If a negligent or inattentive driver has injured you or a loved one, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can ensure that your right to compensation is protected.---
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