Pedestrian Accidents – Silent Cars

silent car accidentsThe automobile industry is constantly developing new technology. Hybrid and electric cars are a direct result of this new technology. Every year thousands of pedestrians are injured or killed in automobile accidents involving hybrid or electric cars, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). Pedestrians who have been the victim of an automobile accident should contact a qualified attorney.

Hybrid and Electric Cars

Many drivers enjoy their hybrid vehicle because it gets great gas mileage and is considered environmentally friendly. One of the ways these vehicles achieve this great gas mileage is by using an electric engine in conjunction with a more traditional engine. Electric cars are different because they rely solely on their electric engine to power the vehicle. Both of these vehicle types are designed to use only the electric engine at low speeds. Unfortunately for pedestrians, electric engines operate silently. In many cases an electric or hybrid car can appear without you ever hearing it, which can leave some pedestrians vulnerable.

Who is at Risk?

Visually impaired pedestrians are especially at risk of being hit by a hybrid or electric car. Pedestrians with limited vision rely more heavily on the sounds around them to determine if it is safe to cross a road. Most pedestrians can hear a vehicle approaching, even if they can not see it. Since hybrid and electric cars operate silently, this lack of sound creates a dangerous environment for pedestrians.

Protecting Pedestrians The NHTSA has new standards starting in 2018 that will require sound to be created when these quiet vehicles are driving slowly and backwards. Some manufacturers have been proactive about making this safety feature standard in their vehicles.

As a pedestrian, it is always important to focus on your surroundings and minimize distractions while you are out walking. When crossing the road a crosswalk is the safest place to be.

Who to Call

When you are the victim of an accident it is important to know your rights. The attorneys at Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice and Purtz have over 5 decades of experience with personal injury cases. We have six offices located in Southwest Florida. Our offices are conveniently located in Fort Myers (two offices to serve you), Cape Coral, Naples, Lehigh and Port Charlotte. Call us today to set up your appointment for a free consultation.