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It is safer to drive a hybrid car, but can be silent killer for pedestrian

By SYF77 on 27 Nov 2011

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A study conducted by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), an affiliate of the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety), showed that hybrid drivers are 25% less likely to be injured in an accident than drivers of non-hybrid models. HLDI’s study included more than 25 pairs of hybrid and their conventionally-engined counterpart.
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"Weight is a big factor," says Matt Moore, HLDI vice president and an author of the report. "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." Moore added that other factors such as the drivers’ habits may contribute ‘noise’ to the result, but researchers have included controls to mitigate the effects of these factors on the final results.

However, there is not so positive news with regards to the pedestrian. A separate HLDI study including 17 hybrid and non-hybrid versions of the same vehicle shows that on average, hybrids are 20% more likely to be involved in pedestrian accidents compared to their conventional versions. “When hybrids operate in electric-only mode, pedestrians can’t hear them approaching, so they might step out into the roadway without checking first to see what’s coming,” Moore explained.

The issue has already been pointed out by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which pushed for a law demanding that all hybrid or electric vehicles (EV) emit a standard warning sound to warn pedestrians of their presence. Toyota and Lexus had announced that they will fit all of their EV and hybrid models with a synthetic motor sound alert that will emit a humming noise when the car is operating on solely electric power.

hybrid cars, electric car, safety and 5 more...

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Written by SYF77
I have been a car fanatic since 1989, when my father was changing our family car then to a Toyota Corolla 1.6 GL fitted with a Twin Cam 16 valve engine that was carburetor-fed, a big deal back in those days. The automobile technology and industry fascinates me and I hope to broadcast these interesting developments to everyone out there through this blog.

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