The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) implemented the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 141 in order to protect pedestrians and other road users from Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs). This regulation requires that HEVs emit a pedestrian alert sound while operating in certain conditions. Let's take a look at how this rule works, why it exists, and what its implications are for drivers of HEVs.
What Is FMVSS No. 141?
The NHTSA implemented FMVSS No. 141 in order to protect pedestrians from HEVs that operate without an internal combustion engine (ICE). Without the ICE noise, these vehicles can be difficult for pedestrians to detect, especially those with hearing impairments, those who are blind or those who are walking in areas with high levels of ambient noise, such as busy city streets. This regulation requires that all newly manufactured HEVs emit a pedestrian alert sound while operating at five different levels:
- Stationary in neutral
- In drive going less than 10 km/h
- In drive going from 10 km/h to 20 km/h
- 20 km/h to 30 km/h
- Constant 30 km/h
HEVs are not required to emit a pedestrian alert sound beyond 30 km/h (18.6 mph) as all the sounds produced at that point, including tires and airflow, would be sufficient enough to detect.
How Does it Work?
Contrary to what you may be thinking, the pedestrian alert sound does not sound like a loud alarm. Instead, it's a subtle humming noise that is meant to mimic the sound of an ICE. Some say it even sounds like a spaceship!
How Can This Help Moving Forward?
Although the regulation is not mandatory in all countries, it will likely be a global standard eventually. The pedestrian alert sound can prove to be extremely helpful for pedestrians, especially those with impaired vision or hearing and those walking in loud areas. It also has the potential to prevent traffic incidents involving HEVs and pedestrians. As such, it is important that drivers of HEVs (and especially manufacturers) become familiar with this regulation now so they can ensure their vehicles are compliant and safe for all road users. By abiding by these regulations, we can help protect pedestrians and make driving safer for everyone. This regulation could prove to be an essential part of the future of safe mobility in our cities.
How Car Accident Attorneys in Oklahoma City, OK, Can Help
If you were involved in an accident, it is crucial that you contact an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. Fulmer Sill can review all the details and evidence of your claim to determine who was at fault for the collision. We will also represent you during negotiations with insurance companies or any other legal proceedings associated with your case.
Contact Fulmer Sill today at (405) 433-7414 for more information and legal guidance during this difficult time.