The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently announced that there will be a sound requirement on all newly manufactured hybrid and electric vehicles. The sound requirement will hopefully prevent pedestrians from being hit by these seemingly soundless cars. The new federal safety standard will help pedestrians who are blind, have low vision, and other pedestrians detect the presence, direction and location of these vehicles when they are traveling at low speeds. This will ultimately prevent thousands of pedestrian injuries each year once all hybrids and electric cars are equipped with audible sound.
Vehicles under 10,000 pounds will be required to make an audible noise when traveling at or under 19 miles per hour in forward or reverse.
This new rule is in effect Sept. 1, 2019, meaning manufacturers have until that date to ensure all hybrid and electrical vehicles 10,000 pounds or under comply by this rule. The President of the National Federation of the Blind, “is pleased that technical specifications for a safe level of sound to be emitted by such vehicles have now been issued.” More than 65,000 pedestrians were injured in 2014 from a motor vehicle. This sound regulation will lower the number of risk of possible crashes and will help improve safety.