In a 2012 report compiled by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, pedestrian injuries and deaths have been found to be on the rise during three of the last five years. In 2012 alone, there were 4,358 pedestrian-related crashes and 168 fatalities. Statistics show that nearly half of pedestrian injuries occur on local roads.
The sound of a moving vehicle can be a warning sign to alert visually-impaired and other pedestrians. Hybrid cars, which are very quiet when travelling at low speeds, are 35% more likely to hit a pedestrian and 57% more likely to hit a bicyclist than are internal combustion vehicles.
An NHTSA Proposal that could save lives
In January 2013, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) submitted a proposal for minimum sound requirements for hybrid and electric cars. Under this proposal, the car manufacturers would have to ensure that the sound of a car is detectable over a wide range of street and other background noises when the vehicle is traveling under 18 miles per hour. The NHTSA estimates that if this proposal were implemented, there would be a noticeable reduction in pedestrian and cyclist injuries and fatalities.
Considering the 15 mile-per-hour speed limit in Pennsylvania school zones, slightly louder hybrid vehicles could save many lives.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, we urge you to contact the law offices of Rosenn Jenkins & Greenwald LLP for a free and confidential consultation. Your claim will be handled by attorneys with the resources, knowledge and experience to obtain the compensation you need.