NHTSA sets new sound requirement standard for vehicles
The US Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has set a new sound requirement standard for all newly manufactured hybrid and electric light-duty vehicles to help protect pedestrians.
According to NHTSA, the new federal safety standard will be beneficial for pedestrians who are blind, have reduced vision, and other pedestrians to detect the presence, direction and location of these vehicles when the vehicles travel at low-speeds.
NHTSA further explained that the new sound requirement standard would help in prevention of nearly 2,400 pedestrian injuries each year once all hybrids in the fleet are properly equipped.
US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said: "We all depend on our senses to alert us to possible danger.
"With more quieter hybrid and electrical cars on the road, the ability for all pedestrians to hear, as well as see the cars becomes an important factor of reducing the risk of possible crashes and improving safety."
As per the new rule, all hybrid and electric light vehicles with four wheels and a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000lb or less will have to maintain an audible noise when traveling in reverse or forward at speeds up to 30km per hour.
Vehicles travelling above specified speed limit, does not require any sound alert because other factors, such as tire and wind noise, provide adequate audible warning to pedestrians.
NHTSA administrator Mark Rosekind said: "This is a common-sense tool to help pedestrians, especially folks who are blind or have low vision, make their way safely.
"With pedestrian fatalities on the rise, it is vitally important we take every action to protect the most vulnerable road users."