Electric vehicles are a more environmentally friendly way to get around, and fully electric vehicles allow users to ditch the gas can and never have to pay for gas again. When electric vehicles were first introduced as a better alternative to gasoline-powered vehicles, they were expensive and not an option for everyone. However, with the increase in demand for electric vehicles and the growth in battery technology, electric vehicles have become an alternative for any price point.
On the other hand, while electric vehicles provide valuable incentives for drivers and the ozone, they also pose risks for pedestrians. Since electric vehicles do not rely on noisy gasoline engines, their battery power creates little to no noise, making them nearly impossible to hear coming.
What Makes an Electric Vehicle Dangerous?
Hearing the sound of cars can be a distraction if you are in your office or home, but when you’re walking or biking on the street or sidewalk, the sound of an oncoming car can be lifesaving. The sound of cars and crosswalk alerts are also beneficial for people who are vision impaired and rely on sounds for their safety. When these safety measures are absent, these individuals are at an even higher risk of being injured by a vehicle.
Numerous studies have been conducted throughout the years showing that electric vehicles were nearly 40 percent more likely to hit a pedestrian than gasoline-powered vehicles. While a fully electric vehicle relies on a battery for power, a hybrid vehicle uses gasoline and battery power, which is more engaged at low speeds. Because of the battery power, it makes these vehicles virtually silent compared to what we are accustomed to hearing with other vehicles.
Because of the risks that electric and hybrid vehicles pose to pedestrians and cyclists, in 2010, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) mandated that electric vehicles be equipped with sounds or alerts when traveling at low speeds.
How Can Electric Car Owners Keep Pedestrians Safe?
Owning an electric vehicle can come with the pride of knowing that you are making a difference in the world by polluting it less. However, electric vehicle owners should not get too comfortable in their seats and must be aware of the dangers their vehicle possesses, even with the mandated alerts their car is equipped with when traveling at lower speeds.
Here are some tips for electric car owners to keep pedestrians safe:
Understand the safety features of your vehicle and the low-speed alerts, blind spot correction, and other safety features. While there may be some vehicles that turn these alerts off, remember that an electric vehicle has alerts to protect others and yourself.
Pedestrians Cannot Hear You
While the laws require additional safety alerts, an electric vehicle is still much quieter than a gasoline-powered vehicle. It is safer not to assume that pedestrians can hear you coming. Be extra cautious of blind spots and when traveling at low speeds.
Right Of Way
Pedestrians always have the right of way, and regardless of the laws or regulations pertaining to the streets you drive on, people must always watch out for pedestrians.
It is equally important to recognize that even if your vehicle is equipped with alerts and other safety features, drivers must always be aware of pedestrians and cyclists and use caution. While the shell of the vehicle protects a driver, pedestrians and cyclists are vulnerable to their surroundings, and a distracted or negligent driver can cause serious injury.
Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help Accident Victims in Pennsylvania
If you or your loved one has been injured by an electric vehicle in Southeastern Pennsylvania, our experienced personal injury lawyers can help you seek compensation for your injuries. At
Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, we have over 65 years of combined experience helping accident victims through the legal process of seeking compensation after being injured by a negligent driver. Our attorneys provide dedicated representation to each of our clients and know what it takes to make a strong claim.
To speak with one of our attorneys, call us at (215) 822-7575 for a free consultation, or fill out our contact form, and one of our legal representatives will be in touch with you.