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Transportation Technology

Hybrids Safer In Crashes — Except For Pedestrians 392

Hugh Pickens writes writes "Hybrid vehicles are safer than their conventional counterparts when it comes to shielding their occupants from injuries in crashes with the odds of being injured in a crash 25 percent lower for people in hybrids than people traveling in comparable non-hybrid vehicles. "Weight is a big factor," says Matt Moore, of the Highway Loss Data Institute. 'Hybrids on average are 10 percent heavier than their standard counterparts. This extra mass gives them an advantage in crashes that their conventional twins don't have.' The study's findings are good news for green-minded drivers who are also looking for safety in their cars, but it's worth noting that hybrid vehicles are much quieter than gas-powered cars, posing a risk to pedestrians. "When hybrids operate in electric-only mode, pedestrians can't hear them approaching," says Moore. Earlier this year, Congress gave the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration three years to come up with a requirement for equipping hybrids and electric models with sounds to alert unsuspecting pedestrians."
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Hybrids Safer In Crashes — Except For Pedestrians

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 20, 2011 @10:14AM (#38116022)
    Interesting. All the cars in my country are required to have a working horn. Does it make a difference just because the horn or bell is there? Or, maybe they have to - you know - actually ring it or press the horn? Saying bikes have bells is really like saying cars have horns. Apparently that isn't enough to fix this problem. Instead, they want the car to emit internal combustion engine sounds. Perhaps we can even get it to emit a realistic smell?

    I remember reading Robert Heinlein's "The Cat Who Walks Through Walls". In one chapter they have a guy with an electric car rigged up to emit annoying sounds like it had an IC engine. Looks like reality may be going there too.
  • by bzipitidoo ( 647217 ) <> on Sunday November 20, 2011 @12:27PM (#38116836) Journal

    Depends on how you define winning.

    A few years ago, I was in an accident in which another driver ran a red light, right in front of me. This was not someone trying to beat the light, this was a young, inexperienced driver's total failure to see the signal. I t-boned him. It was lucky for them that I drive a small, light car, and was going a bit under the posted speed limit of 55 mph. I was bruised badly enough that it took 3 months to fully heal. But I didn't need medical treatment. My elderly and frailer passengers didn't fare as well, with one broken ankle and some cuts that needed stitches.

    If my preference for small, light, fuel efficient cars saved lives that day, I count that a big win.

Things equal to nothing else are equal to each other.