NHTSA studying pedestrian safety around hybrid, electric vehicles

Regulations protecting pedestrians and the visually impaired from accidents involving hybrid and electric vehicles could be proposed soon by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The new proposals are mandated by the Pedestrian Safety enhancement Act of 2010, and will help the NHTSA to create a proposed rulemaking to help pedestrians detect the presence of hybrid and electric vehicles. School buses would also come under the new regulations. Hybrid and electric vehicle makers could be required to add sounds that alert the visually impaired and others when the vehicles are operating in certain low-speed maneuvers.

In a 2009 report to Congress, NHTSA attempted to quantify the problem of hybrid crashes with pedestrians. The agency examined the incidence rates for crashes involving hybrid electric vehicles and pedestrians under different circumstances, using data from 12 states, and compared the results to those for internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.

For more, visit www.nhtsa.gov.