Problems for Pedestrians Associated with Hybrid Vehicles

Statistics show that between the years 2008 and 2017, over 5,400 pedestrians lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents across Florida. Sadly, our state holds the lead in fatal pedestrian accidents among all fifty states. Given the steep increase in the number of drivers utilizing hybrid and electric vehicles, we are seeing an influx of victims harmed in these horrific collisions. These silent vehicles present dangers that pedestrians need to be aware of.

The Change in Times

In the past, pedestrians and bicyclists were able to hear vehicles approaching them. Sadly, the use of hybrid and electric vehicles deprives them of the ability to do so. Reports from the NHTSA found that victims are up to 37% more likely to be harmed in accidents involving electric vehicles than conventional cars. This is mainly due to the fact that these vehicles travel in a stealth-like manner.

The Department of Transportation has taken drastic measures in implementing requirements for electric vehicles to protect pedestrians. In 2019, the DOT finalized the requirements for these vehicles to play a sound when they are traveling below 18.6 miles per hour. These sounds are not required during higher-speed travel as the sound of tires and wind provide pedestrians and others sharing the road ample notice of them approaching.

DOT requires full compliance for over 530,000 vehicles on the roadways already by 2020. Studies show that the simple implementation of these noises can help to prevent upwards of 2,400 injuries.

Increasing Audio Feedback to Improve Safety

Unfortunately, pedestrians have grown accustomed to hearing the sounds of combustion engines while sharing the road. Without noises, pedestrians are more likely to have problems recognizing vehicles approaching. This is especially true in cases where pedestrians are blind. These individuals highly depend on the sounds of vehicles approaching to keep themselves safe.

Furthermore, the lack of audio feedback prevents a driver from realizing how fast their vehicle is actually going.  For this reason, numerous manufacturers have enlisted the skill and knowledge of audio experts who are charged with creating alert sounds for vehicles. These alerts not only help other motorists and pedestrians recognize the presence of these vehicles, but it can help drivers realize how fast they are going without having to look down at their speedometers.

What to Do if You are Harmed in a Pedestrian Accident

Although these changes are predicted to increase the safety of pedestrians across the nation, there are still going to be countless victims losing their lives in devastating motor vehicle accidents across Florida. When victims are harmed, or families lose loved ones in these horrific collisions, it is crucial that they reach out to a pedestrian accident attorney in Florida at their earliest convenience.

Our Florida personal injury attorneys at Sheftall & Associates have several decades of experience fighting on behalf of accident victims to ensure their legal rights are protected. We strive to help those harmed get the justice they deserve for their injuries and damages. Contact our Florida law firm today at (904) 638-7712 to see how we can help you.


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