Driving an electric, or hybrid, car has many advantages. Especially in this weakened economy and having gas prices as high as they are the fuel economy of an electric or hybrid car seems to outweigh any of the disadvantages. Electric cars do not give off any emissions at all. Hybrid cars give off some emissions because they still use gasoline. Even with the many advantages of electric and hybrid cars, they are far from perfect and there are some necessary changes that need to be made to ensure the safety of others.
One of the disadvantages of an electric car is the lack of noise that comes from it. When pedestrians or cyclists can't hear the car approaching accidents can happen, this is especially of concern with deaf or blind individuals. In 2010, the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act was made official and in order to comply with the requirements the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has proposed that one of the changes made to hybrid and electric cars is that their sound standards meet the minimum requirement that helps pedestrians be more able to hear these cars approach. As the cars are currently, they cannot be heard over street noises if they are traveling at a speed below 18 miles per hour. Therefore, the cars must be able to be heard when being driven at 18 mph or less.
Automakers would have to assign a sound to each make and model, the same sound per make and model. Automakers would be able to choose from a variety of sounds for their cars, so long as the minimum requirements are met. If these changes are made, the NHTSA estimates that approximately 2,800 pedalcyclist injuries and pedestrian injuries would be avoided each year by each model of electric/hybrid trucks, cars and vans.