Posted On: October 13, 2009 by Steven J. Malman

Are Electric Cars a Danger to Chicago Pedestrians?

There is growing concern among some groups that electric cars can be a danger to pedestrians because their near-silent sound may make them hard to hear. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is in the process of examining data about car accidents involving hybrid vehicles and pedestrians and will issue its final report in January 2010.

Blind people may be especially susceptible to pedestrian accidents involving Hybrid cars. This is one reason the The National Federation of the Blind is calling on carmakers to design plug-in electric autos and hybrids that emit some type of noise.

Last summer, a blind woman’s cane was run over and broken by what she believes was a hybrid auto. Considering that millions of hybrid and electric vehicles are expected on streets within the next few years, making sure that people can hear them approach could save lives and prevent car manufacturers from becoming defendants of auto products liability and wrongful death lawsuits. Deaf pedestrian may also be at greater risk of becoming involved in a Chicago car accident with a hybrid or electric car than people who have all of their senses intact.

Some carmakers are already attempting to address this possible hazard. According to, Nissan is trying to come up with a sound system that would automatically activate when the car is started and wouldn’t shut off until it was traveling at a speed of at least 12 mph.

With so many commuters and tourists in Chicago, pedestrian accidents occur more often than we would like to think. Even if you are not from the area and you were injured in a Chicago car accident, you may be entitled to Chicago personal injury recovery.

Addressing the danger of too-quiet electric cars, with a little help from Blade Runner, Smart Planet, September 21, 2009

Safety experts fear electric cars too quiet, Kansas City Star, September 25, 2009

Related Web Resources:

City of Chicago Pedestrian Program

Contact our Chicago car accident law firm to discuss your case.

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