Safety experts are calling for louder electric vehicles (EVs). Since their inception, cars have always been loud. People rely on noise to alert them to their environment all the time, just consider that all cars are equipped with horns. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), they are releasing new safety standards to make EVs louder.
While the quiet hum of an EV might be a good selling point, they are a safety risk. According to NHTSA, the new safety standard will prevent around 2,400 pedestrian-EV related injuries a year. Furthermore, the US is not alone in considering these new safety rules, the EU and UN are both reviewing similar rules.
These new regulations will apply to all new EV and light-duty vehicles that weigh 10,000 pounds or less. But the rule seems to apply only for speeds under 18.6 mph. At speeds over 18.6 mph, safety experts believe the noise from the wheels and win should be sufficient to alert pedestrians.
These new standards will require EVs to raise their decibel level. These new rules illustrate that the car industry is constantly building new and safer machines.
As you can see, car accidents can be caused by a variety of reasons, including, not being loud enough. As these rules take effect, keep in mind that cars must be loud. If you were injured by a quiet EV, that could indicate an automobile design defect, and you may want to speak to an attorney. A lawyer can go over the various legal theories under which you may seek recovery, including negligence and products liability.
Source: New Atlas, "'Quiet Car' safety standard calls for EVs and hybrids to make some noise," Michael Irving, November 14, 2016