The Safety of Electric and Hybrid Vehicles

The Safety of Electric and Hybrid Vehicles

Electric and hybrid vehicles have been around since 2000 and the number of consumers has grown since then. But while these cars are known to be fuel-efficient and environmentally-friendly, many are still apprehensive about giving them a try.

Common Concerns with Electric and Hybrid Cars

One common concern with electric cars is their battery life. Some are worried that the electric car wouldn’t last long on the road and will only cause inconvenience for drivers.

As per the US Department of Energy, Kentucky has 39 public charging stations for electric vehicles. Last April, the Kentucky Public Service Commission has given the state’s two largest electric utilities the go-ahead to install up to 20 electric charging stations. 

About 10 new stations are expected to be installed in Louisville and neighboring areas. The charging stations will also be equipped with quick pay options and safety features.

Another concern associated with electric cars is their lack of noise. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, hybrid vehicles are so quiet that they are 19% more likely to get involved in a pedestrian crash as compared with a gasoline-powered vehicle.

In 2015, regulators proposed rules requiring electric vehicle manufacturers to install automatic audio alert on vehicles going at 18 miles per hour or less. Car manufacturers, on the other hand, responded that this would be too loud and complex.

Safety for Pedestrians and Electric Car Passengers

Are electric cars too quiet to be on the roads? While some prefer quieter roads and vehicles, this doesn’t work for everyone, especially to pedestrians relying on ‘noise’ to signal that vehicles are approaching.

Electric and hybrid vehicle owners need to always be mindful of their surroundings. Be aware of your car’s power level, because you don’t want to be stranded on a busy road. Also, when charging your car, make sure your hands and feet are dry and make it a point to study your owner’s manual to get to know your car better.

For Kentucky pedestrians, please stop using headphones when walking on sidewalks, particularly when crossing the street. You never know when you’d encounter a car, electric or not, with faulty equipment. Always be on alert.

As a Kentucky Accident Attorney, I still prefer that cars create noise or work with a warning system for the benefit of pedestrians and bicyclists. This could prevent accidents and help save lives. In the meantime, please take care when on the road. Awareness is always a great safety tool.

 

Michael Schafer
The Personal Injury Attorney for Louisville and Kentucky
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