The injury attorneys at Drake Law Firm have routinely reported about the growing number of pedestrian accidents in Alabama and around the nation. Commentators have identified several factors that may have contributed to the rise in pedestrian collisions including a growing number of joggers, bicyclists, and individuals walking due to fuel prices and/or environmental concerns.
While recreational pursuits have been cited as the most obvious factor for auto collisions involving pedestrians, the NHTSA recently identified a unique, less-obvious risk factor associated with collisions-quieter motor vehicles. Specifically, the NHTSA has suggested that hybrid and electric vehicles may pose a heightened risk of accidents for pedestrians due to their nearly-silent sound at low speeds.
Officials at the NHTSA recently submitted a proposal that would require hybrid and electric motor vehicles to meet minimum sound levels in an attempt to alert nearby pedestrians of a vehicle's presence.
According to a recent release about the proposal, officials are most concerned about hybrid vehicles operating below 18 mph. When traveling above 18 mph, such vehicles provide adequate noise to make cyclists, walkers, and other foot traffic aware of their presence. However, as hybrid vehicles travel under 18 mph, which typically occurs in heavy-pedestrian areas like intersections, the sound of the car's electric engine is significantly masked by background noise. Officials at the NHTSA estimate that if implemented, the proposal could eliminate nearly 2,800 pedestrian accidents and injuries over the life of each affected vehicle.
If you're injured a pedestrian accident, seek the counsel of an Alabama injury trial lawyer. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, any permanent injuries/disfigurements, physical pain and suffering, and mental anguish.