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Safety Concerns For Hybrids

Hybrid Car

For a moment, lets think and imagine a hybrid car cruising our highways. You can almost feel the quality and the smoothness of the ride. Its efficiency is undeniable, and you can almost see fuel economy at its finest. Another thing that makes a hydbrid car unique is the amount of noise or rather, the less noise that it creates once it starts cruising the highways. Sweet sounds, almost light and so sensitive. Contrast that to the sounds of high-performance and muscle cars out there. Noise and growls dominates the  air. That is one reason why a number of people tend to like hybrid cars. But painting these hybrid cars and pushing it on a pedestal can be quite harmful. In fact silent cars that prowl the highways right now can put some people at risk. Yes that’s right; there is always a trade-off. In search for efficient cars and ‘silent’ cars, some aspects need to be sacrificed and can even pose threats to some people. The sponsor of a new bill in Congress Democratic Rep. Edolphus Towns says it best:

The beneficial trend toward more environmentally friendly vehicles has had the unintended effect of placing the blind and other pedestrians in danger.

That’s correct. The less-noisier hybrids that we see on the roads right now may revolutionize automotive technology and can be sweet to the ears, but we have to accept the fact as well that these hybrids can pose significant threats to our blind people as well. Though it was noted that there are still no news that reported injuries that are caused by these almost-silent cars on the road, the bill’s supporters thinks that its only a matter of time that something will happen along this line. There was this study that was conducted by the University of California-Riverside that stated that these cars do pose some significant threats. It mentioned that hybrids that operate at slow speeds must be 40 percent closer to the pedestrians than combustion-engine vehicles before they make enough noises for their location to be detected.

The bill that will be filed will require the Transporation Department to conduct a two-year study before issuing safety standards, and in turn the automakers will have two years to comply. The introduction of this bill is helpful, and I guess a considerable study and research should be done as well to check and to validate furthermore that a slow and a noise-free hybrid can be a threat on the road.


Can Hybrids Save Us?

In a time where oil prices seems to be rising every week, the need to have a fuel-efficient car becomes more and more imperative. Enter hybrid vehicles. These vehicles seem to offer decent to above average fuel efficiency that can make everyone smile. There are a number of hybrids out there in the market right now. Leading the pack is Toyota Prius. Prius is the number one selling hybrid car in the market right now, and because of the popularity of this model, its name is almost synonymous with the name ‘hybrid’. The Honda Civic hybrid is another one, joined by the Nissan Altima hybrid, the Toyota Camry hybrid, Ford Escape hybrid and a whole lot more. Since the performance of the hybrid can be measured in terms of fuel efficiency, lets take a look at some of the vehicle’s mpg figures.

  1. Toyota Prius                           46 MPG
  2. Honda Civic Hybrid                 42 MPG
  3. Nissan Altima Hybrid               34 MPG
  4. Toyota Camry Hybrid              33 MPG
  5. Ford Escape Hybrid                 32 MPG

If this measure is the sole basis in selecting cars, then these are the cars that should be used by people. But then the use of this measure may mislead consumers for a number of reasons, and one reason is that this measure may vary depending on unique individual situations, and driving environments.