February 01, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Since their introduction, hybrid cars have been touted for their "green" technology and fuel efficiency. And while their fuel economy can hardly be disputed, their silent operation at low speeds has created some safety concerns for the pedestrians who cannot hear the cars bearing down on them.
Accordingly, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently recommended requiring hybrid and electric cars to meet minimum sound standards so that pedestrians are aware of the their presence - hopefully reducing pedestrian accidents here in Virginia
, and throughout the country, in the process.
Hybrid cars & pedestrian accidents
Hybrid vehicles are different than traditional motor vehicles in the sense that they do not rely on their engines, but instead their batteries, when moving at lower speeds - meaning they are very quiet and often very difficult for pedestrians to detect by sound.
Consequently, pursuant to the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010, the NHTSA
recently announced the proposed minimum sound requirements for hybrids - otherwise known as Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 141.
Automakers will have a great amount of discretion in the sounds they choose for their hybrid vehicles if the standards are implemented, as long as the selected sounds meet the minimum requirements or course. However, the sounds will have to be uniform in all cars of the same make and model.
According to a recent press release issued by the NHTSA, it is estimated that this proposal, if put into effect, will result in the elimination of 2,800 pedestrian and cyclist injuries over the life of each model year of hybrid cars.
Virginia pedestrian accidents
Unfortunately, silent hybrid cars are not the only danger plaguing pedestrians on Virginia roadways and intersections. Almost daily, pedestrians have to deal with hurried careless drivers that are too busy texting on their phones to pay attention to pedestrians at intersections or in crosswalks.
Although some pedestrian accidents are unavoidable - at least on the pedestrian's part - thankfully pedestrians have options available to hold reckless drivers accountable. For instance, pedestrians injured by drivers may be able to file a personal injury suit against the driver in order to be compensated for their injuries. If the pedestrian tragically dies in the accident, the family may be able to file a wrongful death
suit against the driver as well.
Also, if a pedestrian is struck by a hit-and-run driver, it still may be possible to obtain assistance even if the culprit isn't held accountable. For instance, a pedestrian's own uninsured motorist insurance on their car may be able to provide coverage for the injuries caused by the accident.
If you or a love one has been injured by a reckless driver while walking, it is important to contact an experienced pedestrian accident attorney as soon as possible in order to learn your rights and options. In addition, a knowledgeable attorney can help in investigating the accident and collecting pertinent evidence.
Article provided by Cravens & Noll PC
Visit us at www.cravensnoll.com