Hybrid Cars - Alternative Energy

Hybrid cars have increased in popularity as of late.Nows the time to support alternative energy solutions and technologies.

Hybrid Cars - Alternative Energy


"Hybrid Nation"

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Hybrid cars pose obstacles for the blind

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif., Feb. 13 (UPI) -- A near accident when a blind man almost stepped into Laguna Beach, Calif., traffic has highlighted an unintended consequence of hybrid cars -- quiet.

Cars like the Toyota Prius that Michael Osborn nearly walked in front of before being stopped by his guide dog are silent when running on electric battery power, causing a problems for blind pedestrians, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

"Half an inch and it would have hit us ... it wasn't making any noise," said Osborn.

"I'm an environmentalist, and I'm all for quiet cars," he said. "But it poses a particular problem for somebody who has no vision."

Sound is key for blind people using canes or guide dogs who wish to cross the street. Hybrid cars on average make much less noise than vacuum cleaners, the Journal said.

The National Federation of the Blind is calling for the auto industry to alter hybrid car designs to make sounds loud enough to hear over other ambient noises.

"We want to get ahead of this and not have to wait until five blind people end up seriously hurt or dead," said Gary Wunder, a member of the NFB Committee on Automobile and Pedestrian Safety.



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