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Blind and Visually Impaired Pedestrians Will Benefit from New Rule Calling for Noisier Hybrids and Electric Vehicles (2023)

Blind and Visually Impaired Pedestrians Will Benefit from New Rule Calling for Noisier Hybrids and Electric Vehicles (2023)

Do you know that blind and visually impaired pedestrians will benefit from a new rule calling for noisier hybrids and electric vehicles? With the increasing popularity of hybrid and electric vehicles, there is a growing concern for the safety of pedestrians, particularly those who are blind or visually impaired. The quietness of these vehicles can make it difficult for these pedestrians to detect their presence, leading to potentially dangerous situations. However, a new rule has been put in place to address this issue, requiring that all hybrid and electric vehicles emit a certain level of noise when traveling at low speeds.

In this article, we will explore the details of this new rule, its potential impact on blind and visually impaired pedestrians, and the benefits it could bring.

What is the New Rule?

In 2010, the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act was signed into law, requiring the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to develop a rule that would require all hybrid and electric vehicles to emit a certain level of sound when traveling at speeds up to 19 mph. The goal of the rule is to increase the safety of pedestrians, particularly those who are blind or visually impaired, by providing an audible alert of an approaching vehicle. The rule was finalized in 2018, with a compliance deadline of September 1, 2020, for all new hybrid and electric vehicles.

Read More: PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENTS ON THE RISE (2023)

Background on the Issue

The quietness of hybrid and electric vehicles has been a growing concern for pedestrian safety since their introduction. A study conducted by the NHTSA found that hybrid electric vehicles are 57% more likely to be involved in pedestrian accidents than traditional gas-powered vehicles. Additionally, a study by the University of California, Riverside, found that hybrid electric vehicles are 37% more likely to be involved in accidents with cyclists than traditional gas-powered vehicles.

Why is the Rule Important?

The new rule is important because it addresses a safety issue that has been a growing concern for years. With the increasing popularity of hybrid and electric vehicles, the number of potential accidents involving blind and visually impaired pedestrians has also increased. The rule will help reduce the risk of accidents and increase the safety of all pedestrians, particularly those who are blind or visually impaired.

How will the Rule be Enforced?

The NHTSA will enforce the rule, and all new hybrid and electric vehicles must comply with the regulation. Automakers will need to equip their vehicles with sound-emitting devices that emit a sound that is detectable under various conditions, such as different speeds and backgrounds. The sound must be between 43 and 85 decibels, similar to the sound of a gas-powered vehicle.

Impact on Blind and Visually Impaired Pedestrians

The new rule will have a significant impact on blind and visually impaired pedestrians. With sound-emitting devices, these pedestrians will have an easier time detecting the presence of hybrid and electric vehicles. This will help reduce the risk of accidents and increase their safety.

Benefits of the New Rule

The benefits of the new rule extend beyond blind and visually impaired pedestrians. It will also increase the safety of other pedestrians, cyclists, and even animals, as they will be able to detect the presence of hybrid and electric vehicles. The rule will also help reduce the number of accidents involving these vehicles, making the roads safer for everyone.

Concerns about the New Rule

There are some concerns about the new rule, such as the possibility of the added noise becoming a nuisance to some individuals or contributing to noise pollution. There are also concerns that the sound may not be distinct enough or may not be effective in alerting pedestrians to the presence of the vehicle. However, the NHTSA has conducted extensive research and testing to ensure that the sound emitted by these devices is effective and safe.

Read  More: Federal Guidelines Try to Get Drivers to Put Down Their Phones (2023)

Future Implications

The new rule could have future implications for the development of hybrid and electric vehicles. As automakers work to comply with the rule, they may also consider other features to improve the safety of their vehicles, such as improved sensors or automated braking systems. Additionally, the success of this rule could inspire other regulations aimed at improving pedestrian safety.

Collaboration with Automakers and Advocacy Groups

Automakers and advocacy groups have played a significant role in the development and implementation of this new rule. Automakers have worked closely with the NHTSA to ensure compliance, while advocacy groups have pushed for increased safety measures for blind and visually impaired pedestrians. The collaboration between these groups has helped ensure that the rule is effective and feasible for all parties involved.

Conclusion

The new rule requiring hybrid and electric vehicles to emit noise when traveling at low speeds is an important step toward improving pedestrian safety, particularly for blind and visually impaired individuals. The rule will help reduce the risk of accidents and increase the safety of all pedestrians, cyclists, and animals. While there are concerns about the added noise, extensive testing and research have been conducted to ensure that the sound emitted by these devices is effective and safe.

FAQs

  1. When will the new rule go into effect?
  • The compliance deadline for all new hybrid and electric vehicles is September 1, 2020.
  1. What is the goal of the new rule?
  • The goal of the rule is to increase the safety of pedestrians, particularly those who are blind or visually impaired, by providing an audible alert of an approaching vehicle.
  1. What decibel range should the sound emitted by these devices be?
  • The sound must be between 43 and 85 decibels, similar to the sound of a gas-powered vehicle.
  1. Will the new rule only benefit blind and visually impaired Blind and Visually pedestrians?
  • No, the new rule will benefit all pedestrians, cyclists, and animals by making the roads safer.
  1. Could the new rule inspire other regulations aimed at improving Blind and Visually pedestrian safety?
  • Yes, the success of this rule could inspire other regulations aimed at improving pedestrian safety in the future.
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