Electric vehicles and hybrids are quiet — a little too quiet for the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The agency on Monday announced proposals for minimum sound requirements on hybrid and electric vehicles. Without an internal combustion engine running, many vehicles can operate under full or partial electric power with little to no sound to warn pedestrians or cyclists, particularly the visually impaired.
“This proposal will help keep everyone using our nation's streets and roadways safe, whether they are motorists, bicyclists or pedestrians,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement.
The Department of Transportation estimates the proposed changes to hybrid and electric vehicles would result in 2,800 fewer injuries to pedestrians and cyclists for every model year that such a system is required.