Assessing the perceived safety risk from quiet electric and hybrid vehicles to vision impaired pedestrians (PPR 525)

  • Published: Transport Research Laboratory, 2011
  • Authors: P. Morgan, L. Morris, M. Muirhead, L. Walter and J. Martin
  • Date Added: 02 Feb 2013
  • Last Update: 25 Oct 2016
  • Format: html

Objectives:

To investigate the RTI risk posed by electric and hybrid vehicles due to their low noise.

Methodology:

Consideration of RTI statistics and practical testing of vehicle noise outputs.

Key Findings:

  • Relative to the total number of registered vehicles, hybrid / electric vehicles were equally likely to be involved in an RTI with a pedestrian as conventionally powered vehicles. However, proportionally more RTIs for hybrid / electric vehicles involve hitting a pedestrian.

  • Hybrid / electric vehicles increase pedestrian risk exposure, when measured by audibly detectable distance.

Themes:

Electric vehicle, hybrid vehicle, audible, pedestrian risk

Comments:

Study appears to be relatively robust, although sample numbers for RTIs involving hybrid / electric vehicles are small owing to these vehicles small share of the UK fleet. Some indicative evidence that lower noise vehicles will increase risk to pedestrians (particularly partially sighted).

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