The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration has plans to create guidelines for the minimum noise a car must create while running, reports Slate.com.
The NHTSA will start on the noise guidelines this summer thanks to the Pedestrian Safety Act of 2010 and hybrid and electric vehicles, which due to their quietness while in gear, have led to increased pedestrian and bicycle accidents.
NHTSA studies in 2009 and 2011 have found that quiet hybrid and electric vehicles are a danger to the blind, as well as fully sighted individuals because they cannot hear the hybrid and electric vehicles approaching. At speeds lower than 35mph, these fuel-efficient cars are 37% more likely to hit pedestrian walkers and 66% more likely to strike cyclists than their gas-powered counterparts.
The seemingly strange idea of adding noise to a form of transportation has been around since the days of horse and buggy. Sleigh bells, for instance, were very much a safety addition to ensure that pedestrians avoided finding themselves underneath the efficient trampling legs of the horses.
We will keep you updated on the progress of the NHTSA this summer.
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