Have you ever seen an electric or hybrid vehicle that was so quiet you didn’t know it was running, or one that whizzed by you on your bicycle without you hearing it at all?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has enacted a standard to help pedestrians, particularly those with limited vision or who are blind.
Hearing is as much a part of road safety as vision, particularly for those with vision challenges and mobility issues. The ability to hear an approaching vehicle, even at low speeds, can be the difference between life and death for someone crossing the street.
The Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010 requires automakers to equip all new “quiet cars” with sound that meets the new federal standards by September 2019. About half of the newly produced vehicles will comply with the rule as much as a year sooner.
This is a victory for the visually impaired, for children, for the elderly, for pedestrians and for cyclists alike.