In response to the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act passed last year, Toyota has made their 2012 Prius model emit a sound that mimics a combustion engine so that pedestrians, particularly those who are blind, can hear them, according to news sources.
The act was passed last year and requires electric and hybrid vehicles to make a noise for the safety of pedestrians. Toyota believes that the noise will also alert cyclists and distracted pedestrians.
The noise is only emitted when the car is traveling below 15 miles per hour. High and low pitched sounds are combined to help it stand out. It also imitates how an engine rises and falls as speeds increase and decrease.
GM has also added an alert to their Chevy Volt, and Nissan has added a proximity notification system to its Leaf to comply with the act.
As a car accident attorney in Los Angeles, I’m very glad that these car manufacturers are taking the initiative to promote safety both for their customers and their passengers, as well as for those around them. As a Los Angeles personal injury attorney, I know that awareness of both pedestrians and drivers is essential for everyone’s safety.