That hybrid vehicles are more likely to be involved in pedestrian accidents is something every Houston car accident lawyer knows. Yet another study confirms this fact.
The Insurance Industry for Highway Safety’s Highway Loss Data Institute has conducted an analysis of hybrid vehicles and pedestrian safety. The researchers examined the frequency of injury claims for 17 hybrid vehicles, and compared them with their nonhybrid counterparts. Hybrid models were compared with their nonhybrid twins during the 2004-2010 years. The study concluded that hybrids are approximately 20% more likely to be involved in pedestrian accidents than conventional cars.
This wasn’t the first time that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has reached these conclusions. The Institute conducted studies in 2009 and 2011 that also concluded that hybrids were much more likely to be involved in accidents involving bicyclists and pedestrians.
There is a reason for these high pedestrian accident rates involving hybrids. When a hybrid car is traveling in electric mode, it makes a barely audible noise. Pedestrians may not hear the sound of the vehicle, and may not be able to avoid a collision
In fact, this problem has become so severe that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is currently looking at requiring the installation of sound devices in all hybrid vehicles, to alert pedestrians. Earlier in 2011, Congress required the agency to come up with a rule that would require all hybrid vehicles to come with noise devices to alert unsuspecting pedestrians. The agency is currently working on the design criteria for a device.