NHTSA may require electric cars to emit warning sounds around pedestrians

The National Highway Traffic Safety Adminstration recently announced that it will be making efforts to improve safety features for electric and hybrid vehicles. The environmentally conservative vehicles reduce emissions and use less fuel than standard gasoline-fueled cars, but their electric motors are much quieter, which can be dangerous for pedestrians.

"Even as we make giant leaps forward with hybrid and electric vehicles, we must remain laser focused on safety," said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. "With more and more quiet vehicles on the road, we have to consider their effect on pedestrians."

Federal safety regulators are considering requiring automakers to include technology that will emit sounds when drivers are performing low-speed maneuvers that could endanger pedestrians. The NHTSA has conducted studies that show that vehicle-pedestrian accidents are more likely with electric vehicles than gasoline-powered cars, according to USA Today.

Electric vehicles run almost silently, but with this safety provision these cars could be a good choice. The government even offers a $7,500 tax break for anyone who buys one, which could make electric vehicles worth considering for people who will use bad credit car loans to purchase their next cars.