A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Highway Loss Data Institute reveals that occupants of hybrid vehicles may be much less likely to be injured in an accident than occupants of non-hybrid vehicles. However, hybrid cars are more likely to be involved in collisions with pedestrians.
According to the study, hybrid vehicles have up to 25% greater crash protection than non-conventional vehicles. That’s mainly because these vehicles have approximately 10% more weight than conventional vehicles. Bigger, heavier cars have a greater likelihood of protecting occupants during an accident, than smaller vehicles.
It appears that automakers have finally found the magic combination of eco-friendliness and safety that they have been looking for. For several years, hybrid vehicles were considered less safe cars, because while they promised fuel efficiency and cleaner driving, they did not rank highly on crash protection.
However, hybrid vehicles don’t seem to be that safe when pedestrians are involved. These vehicles have much higher pedestrian accident rates than conventional non-hybrid vehicles. That isn’t a coincidence. It has to do with the fact that hybrid vehicles make very little noise. Pedestrians, who fail to hear an approaching hybrid vehicle, are more likely to be involved in a collision with a car. In fact Indiana car accident lawyers are concerned about the risks to certain kinds of pedestrians, like children or the visually impaired.
In areas around the country, where there are more drivers operating hybrid vehicles, the number of pedestrian accidents seem to be higher. One study also found that people, who live in beach towns where there are more pedestrians, are much more likely to purchase hybrid vehicles, creating the perfect combination of factors for pedestrian accidents.
In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is currently considering a rule that would require hybrid car makers to install noise-making devices or systems in all their vehicles. The exact design of the noise emitting devices has not been finalized, but the agency is looking at a combination of sounds and systems that could alert pedestrians to an approaching car. The fact that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has turned its attention to this problem shows how serious it is. The agency has enough evidence about the dangers to pedestrians from hybrid vehicles to consider the need for related safety rules.
Scientists have conducted several studies that show that there are greater pedestrian crash risks when there are greater numbers of hybrid vehicles. These cars are already very popular with Americans who want to lead eco-conscious, green lives. However, the popularity of these cars is bound to rise because of increasing gas prices. With increasing numbers of hybrid vehicles on our roads, it will become necessary for manufacturers to include systems in their vehicles that can reduce the risks of pedestrian accidents.
The Indiana personal injury lawyers at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson and Kennedy represent persons who have been injured in accidents across Indiana.