To reduce the number of pedestrian accidents, The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced that all newly manufactured hybrid vehicles are required to make a sound while traveling at low speeds.
The new ruling would require that all hybrid and light electric vehicles with four wheels and a gross weight rating of 10,000 lbs. or less make a sound when traveling at a speed of 19 mph or less. When traveling at faster speeds, the NHTSA has decided that the natural noises of the vehicle is sufficient enough.
The NHTSA estimates that adding a noise requirement to hybrid and electric vehicles, which function soundlessly at low speeds, will help prevent 2,400 pedestrian injuries annually.
Manufacturers have until Sept. 1, 2019, to equip all new hybrid and electric vehicles with sounds that meet the new federal standard. The NHTSA has also stated that half of the vehicles must be in compliance within one year of the deadline.<