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Electric cars might be "green," but they endanger pedestrians

More and more now, we are all seeing hybrid and electric cars on the roads. Whether you think that they are cool or strange, one thing about them is certain. They are quieter than the engine-running car or truck that most of us have.

Whereas many who are worried about the environment might think that the growing popularity of these new cars is great news, there is always a drawback where there is a positive. What's the con of this situation? Quieter cars mean more car accidents involving pedestrians.

According to various recent consumer reports, lawmakers are requiring electric and hybrid carmakers to do something about the products' dangerous effects on traffic safety. Pedestrians need and deserve to safely use the roads, and the positive effects of quiet, "green" cars is not more valuable than people's lives.

In 2010, the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement was passed - which reportedly means very little until 2014. Last year's legislative accomplishment requires the National Highway Safety Administration to solidify a final rule regarding quiet vehicles and built-in sound alert systems by that time.

The required use of sound alert systems in quiet vehicles, therefore, won't take effect for another few years at least, as manufacturers and car owners will need time to catch up with the finalized legislation. Currently, however, some of the electric and hybrid vehicles are already safer to pedestrians because they already have sound systems.

To best ensure the safety of pedestrians, not even a sound system is the save all. Whether behind the wheel of a gas-powered or electric car, all drivers need to respect the laws of the road and the value of life. It is crucial to watch for walkers, bikers, mothers pushing their children in strollers and any other life that one driving mistake could alter or cut short.


The New York Times: "U.S. Weighs Rule Requiring Hybrids, EV Cars to Sound Pedestrian Alerts," Jason Plautz, 8 Jul. 2011

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