Officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are asking that all vehicles meet a minimum sound standard.
In particular, they are targeting hybrid and electric vehicles in an effort to help keep pedestrians, bicyclists and other vulnerable travelers safe out there.
Our Fort Pierce car accident lawyers understand quieter vehicles can increase the risks in traffic — especially for cyclists and pedestrians. With the hybrid and electric cars, vehicles are seemingly silent. Unfortunately, many pedestrians and bicyclists rely on their hearing to help avoid approaching traffic. .
“Safety is our highest priority, and this proposal will help keep everyone using our nation’s streets and roadways safe, whether they are motorists, bicyclists or pedestrians, and especially the blind and visually impaired,” said Ray LaHood with the U.S. Department of Transportation.
These new, fuel-efficient and hybrid cars often don’t run on gas like normal, and at low speeds they’re alarmingly quiet. Under the new proposed standard, officials are asking Congress to require that in the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act these quieter cars meet a minimum sound requirement. They would only have to meet this standard when traveling 18 mph or slower because officials believe that their sound is sufficient at faster speeds.
Sounds would have to be the same for the same make and model of vehicle. The NHTSA has even gone as far as to provide car manufacturers with sample sounds already.
David Strickland with the NHTSA says that it’s all about helping to make our roadways safer for all travelers. He adds that this is a move that will largely benefit those who are hearing-impaired, as well as those who are visually impaired and so rely more heavily on the sound of approaching traffic.
It’s our responsibility as pedestrians to be on the lookout. We need to stay one step ahead of the vehicular traffic around us. Unfortunately, we can’t always rely on the safe habits of drivers. They’re oftentimes distracted if not blatantly ignoring on-foot travelers. Be sure that you’re doing all that you can to make yourself seen — like wearing bright colors, using reflective materials and traveling with a flashlight when it’s dark out. You’re also reminded to always use sidewalks and steer clear of passing traffic. Cross the road by using crosswalks and street corners.
This is especially important for pedestrians here in the South Florida area. According to Transportation for America, South Florida holds the top 4 most dangerous spots for pedestrian accidents in the country. These areas are Orlando-Kissimmee, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Pompano-Clearwater, Jacksonville and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach.
The truth is that many pedestrian-car accidents can be prevented with awareness. Let’s all work together to remain aware of one another out there and work to improve roadway safety for all.
Contact the South Florida injury lawyers at Freeman & Mallard for a free and confidential review of your case. Call 1-800-561-7777.
More Blog Entries:
Florida Travelers in Danger, Accidents on the Rise, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, December 12, 2012
Young Pompano Child Killed in Parking Lot Accident, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, October 7, 2012