Recent information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports a sound requirement for all light duty electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles. This is known as the quiet car safety rule that is usually designed to help pedestrians and the visually impaired be aware of vehicles that are moving at low speed. Hybrids may be too quiet for those with visual impairments to hear them.

The sound requirement applies to all hybrids and 4-wheel electric cars that have a gross vehicle weight of 10,000 lbs. or less. Any car that is built after September 1st, 2019 must have the new sound feature active when the vehicle is moving 19 miles per hour or less or is moving in reverse. One year prior to the deadline in 2018, half of the manufacturer’s new hybrid and electric vehicles need to have the audible warning.

Congress is actually responsible for this new rule. A 2010 pedestrian safety enhancement act requires that electric cars and hybrids give an audible alert for visually impaired and blind pedestrians. The new rule is believed to help as many as 2,400 pedestrians every single year. Those individuals who have low vision or are blind may find it difficult to navigate around vehicles without this tool. If you or someone you know has recently been injured in a pedestrian accident, do not hesitate to reach out to get help.