Electric vehicles (EVs) have become quite popular as a green alternative to gas-powered cars. But their quiet operation has raised concerns about pedestrian safety. Often these vehicles are so quiet that pedestrians and cyclists can’t hear them coming, leading to sometimes devastating accidents. To address this, a law was passed, requiring all EVs and hybrids made after 2020 and sold in the U.S. to have an acoustic vehicle alerting system (AVAS). This system makes external noises when the vehicle is traveling below a certain speed.
A recent study emphasized the importance of engine noise for warning people with visual impairments and all pedestrians. Engine noise not only lets people know a vehicle is around but also gives vital info about its direction, speed, and if it’s slowing down or speeding up. This helps pedestrians make safe decisions while crossing roads and navigating traffic.
To follow the AVAS requirement, car makers have been working on developing electric car soundscapes. They’re collaborating with musicians and composers to create unique alert systems and in-cabin chimes. The goal is to strike a balance between making distinctive sounds for EVs while ensuring they are loud enough for safety.
However, it’s challenging to turn these sound requirements into legal language. Figuring out what a car should sound like requires careful thought. Organizations like the National Federation of the Blind are actively involved in shaping regulations to ensure EV sounds are effective and meet the needs of pedestrians, especially those with visual impairments.
While adding fake engine sounds in EVs helps address pedestrian safety concerns, it’s crucial to find the right balance. The sounds should be designed thoughtfully to provide the necessary cues without causing noise pollution or distracting drivers.
At OnderLaw, we value pedestrian safety and understand the impact of EV technology and regulations on achieving it. Pedestrian accidents involving electric vehicles can be severe, leading to legal complexities. If you or someone you love has been involved in such an incident, seeking legal advice from a professional personal injury law firm is essential to protect your rights and seek fair compensation. Don’t hesitate to contact OnderLaw for a free, no obligation consultation. We’ll fight for what you deserve.