Rule to Require Electric Cars to Make NoiseOctober 28, 2019
In addition to being fuel efficient, less expensive to maintain, and better for the environment, electric cars are very quiet compared to vehicles with internal combustion engines. While the noiseless nature of electric cars appeals to some consumers, safety officials are concerned that pedestrians may not hear an electric vehicle approaching. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has proposed a rule that would require electric cars to emit noise when they reach certain speeds to alert pedestrians in the vicinity.
Several car manufacturers have taken steps to prepare for these new federal regulations. Nissan has been working with Man Made Music to develop a sound called Canto, which is described as a resonant hum that rises in pitch as the car picks up speed. Man Made Music is best known for developing audio for television, radio, and movies. According to the founder of Man Made Music, the sound created for Nissan must address safety while maintaining brand identity. The sound uses pure sine waves from analog synthesizers, as well as bits of white noise that allow producers to control aspects of the sound.
Need for Sound is a Safety Issue
Smartphones use sounds to enhance the user experience. Examples include the camera shutter sound you hear when taking a picture or the sound of a cash register that accompanies financial transactions. However, the use of sound in electric cars revolves around something completely different than enhancing user experience, namely improving safety. The NHTSA found that hybrid electric cars that did not emit noise were 35 percent more likely to be involved in pedestrian accidents than traditional vehicles with internal combustion engines, and 57 percent more likely to be involved in bicycle accidents.
Close to 10 years ago, Congress passed a law to improve pedestrian safety, and instructed the NHTSA to create a rule that would require hybrid and electric cars to emit noise. The rule, which was finalized in 2016, states that electric cars must produce noise when reaching speeds up to 30 kilometers per hour. Some automakers have requested that consumers be able to choose a sound from a range of offerings, and the agency said it would consider accommodating that request.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Pedestrians Involved in Electric Car Accidents
If you or a loved one was involved in a car accident involving an electric car, contact the highly skilled Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. We will protect your legal rights and secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
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