Urbin Report

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The silent killer in our streets...

Hybrid motor vehicles pose a safety hazard according to the Mercury News.

It's so quiet that pedestrians can't hear it when it's starting up or idling, and they often walk right into the path of the moving vehicle.
...
As hybrid sales skyrocket, there's a growing concern that the battery-gas powered vehicles pose a risk because they aren't as noisy as gas-powered engines. When idling, hybrids run on the quiet electric battery. Most, with the exception of GM and Honda hybrids, can also operate on the battery until the car reaches higher speeds, when the gas engine kicks in.

What follows is silence at locations where drivers are likely to tangle with pedestrians and bicyclists -- crosswalks, turning lanes and parking lots.