Quiet-running hybrid cars pose safety hazard
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Are hybrid cars too quiet for their own good?
Jana Littrell certainly thinks so. Littrell, who is blind, was walking through a bank parking lot in Albany, Calif., a year ago when her foot was run over by a Toyota Prius backing out of a parking space.
She wasn't injured and the driver apologized effusively, she recalled. But the experience shook her up.
"It has definitely put me more on my guard," said Littrell, who teaches Braille to newly blind adults. "But I don't know how much good that's going to do me if I can't hear the car coming."
Concerns are growing that quiet-running hybrids such as the Prius pose a hazard to pedestrians, especially the 1.3 million Americans who are legally blind. The problem occurs when the cars are running at very low speeds on electric power, making about as much noise as a golf cart.
LINK:Quiet-running hybrid cars pose safety hazard
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