Saving the Planet, but Endangering the Blind

I was driving to work in my lovely hybrid car (currently averaging 48.3 mpg) and I heard a news clip that blind people were having trouble detecting hybrid cars on the road. This news article expands a little more on it, but the takeaway is this:

A test was done at the National Federation of the Blind’s Headquarters with a Toyota Prius and a Honda Hybrid. Testers said the Honda was quiet but they could not hear the Toyota at all.

“I never heard the car until it actually touched me, I was shocked,” said Pare.

When I drive I definitely scare some people (ha ha). I had a cyclist that I was following at a safe distance, and he looked back at me and almost fell of his bike. He didn’t know I was there. A woman with two kids walked out in front of me when I was in the Food Lion parking lot. I had my window down and I heard her say to the kids, “Mommy didn’t even hear the car.” A couple of years ago when I rented a Prius for the weekend, we were driving around the Ikea parking garage and no one would get out of our way and they kept walking in front of us. They simply couldn’t hear us. I actually find it a little annoying and definitely see the danger in it…though I love that it is so quiet. Just thought this was interesting.


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