Discover Why Hybrid and Electric Cars Are Causing More Pedestrian Accidents

There are many reasons that hybrid and electric cars are great options, from their lower cost of operation to the fact that they are eco-friendly. However, recent research is showing that they may actually be rather dangerous for pedestrians. Read on to learn why they are causing so many pedestrian accidents. If you believe you have been the victim of a pedestrian accident that was the fault of another party, then contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 for a free legal consultation.

Begin by consider the stats

The Highway Loss Data Institute has found that the average hybrid vehicle is about 20% more likely to get into a pedestrian accident than a vehicle that runs on gas. They came to this conclusion by looking at the number of injury claims made when there was no property damage or collision damage. They assumed that the vast majority of said injuries would have been caused by pedestrian accidents. They looked at more than 25,000 claims for 17 hybrid and non-hybrid vehicles.

The stats they came up with match other studies. One example is from the National Highway Safety Administration, in which they looked at areas where the speed limit was 35 miles per hour or lower. In those areas, hybrid vehicles were about 50% more likely to get involved in a pedestrian accident than a gas-powered vehicle.

That study also showed that when a hybrid is slowing down, parking, stopping, or backing up, they are at the highest risk of hitting a pedestrian. In fact, these situations are about twice as dangerous with a hybrid vehicle as with a gas-powered vehicle. However, they showed that there wasn’t a significant change in the rates when the vehicles were going down a straight road.

Why are hybrid cars so dangerous?

Now you may be wondering what is so dangerous about hybrid vehicles, especially when they are moving slowly. The answer is simple: They are silent. When electric or hybrid vehicles are driving they make almost no engine noise anyway, but when you pair the fact that low speeds do not cause wind or tire noise, they can be silent and car accidents can be the result. Pedestrians may not hear the car at all and end up walking in front of it.

Is there a solution to the problem?

California legislators have been looking for an answer for over seven years. In 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration come up with a rule that requires hybrid vehicles to ensure they have an engine-like noise any time they are driving more than 20 miles per hour. They also require the noise when the vehicle is stopped but is not in park. The rule goes into effect in September of 2019.

We do not yet know if this will work but we do know that if you have been the victim of a pedestrian accident you should contact a personal injury attorney. You can reach Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 for a free legal consultation.