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Click on the image above for our Toyota Prius gallery

When an eight-year-old boy on a bicycle gets hit by a car while riding in the middle of the street, the blame often points directly at the youth. However, if the car in question just happens to be a quiet hybrid-electric... there just may be reason to accuse the vehicle.

Last weekend, a youthful Owen Erickson was riding his two-wheeler with a friend when he was struck by a Toyota Prius and tossed onto the hood of the popular hybrid. Thankfully, he was unhurt. His mother, however, was quick to place some of the blame on the "totally silent" Prius, claiming her son never heard it coming. As a scapegoat, the hybrid-electric vehicle is taking more than its fair share of heat. Two years ago, we blogged about the silent danger of hybrids. Earlier this year, Maryland launched a study, and passed legislation aimed at vehicle noise levels (more specifically, the "lack of" audible decibels), citing a legitimate concern for the blind. Just last month, a bill was introduced in the House of Representatives to study whether or not a "minimum sound level" needs to be established for these highly-efficient silent runners.

We obviously haven't "heard" the end of this hybrid-electric argument as it begins to gain momentum around the country. Whether future Prius models are equipped with blaring sirens or not, we do know that Moms will still need to teach their children to not play in the middle of the street. Thanks for the tip, Tyler!

[Source: KARE 11]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      if the prius had a 454 under the hood with a glass pack exhaust ,she still would have hit the kid and probably kill the kid. i believe the driver was on a cell phone.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think the very least Maryland should do is pass a law requiring all teenagers to wear helmets with strobe lights that operate whenever they are in motion, in addition to intermittently tooting horn. There's nothing so traumatizing to an innocent Prius driver as being struck by a recklessly flying teenager.
      • 7 Years Ago

      this is one of the best features of electric cars - little noise.

      I hate noise from cars. the world would be so much more peaceful without it.

      studies has shown traffic noise over time causes increased blood pressure and heart attacks.

      but assholes are going to ruin it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This article reminded me of the introductrion of the Honda Goldwing touring motorcycle introduction of years ago. The first year or two the bike's exhaust was so quiet that it was involved in more accidents than normal. Honda eventually increased the sound as a safty factor. "Loud pipes save lives".
      • 7 Years Ago
      I was always tought to listen both ways then cross the street. errrr.......
      • 7 Years Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Can't wait for the Public Service Commercials on hybrids not making enough sound... PRIUS - Japanese for 'Silent But Deadly'.

      Discuss among yourselves...
      Hybrids cutting air pollution - GOOD!
      Hybrids cutting noise pollution - BAD?

      • 7 Years Ago
      this lady is dumb! its actually her fault why would she let her 8 yr old son ride his bike in the middle of the street! get real
      • 7 Years Ago
      Unreported in the news wire release was the fact that Mrs. Erickson recently sued McDonalds for millions after spilling hot coffee on herself, before that she sue ABC television and AT&T for making the Oprah Whinfery show so compelling she could not stop talking about it with a friend on her mobile phone driving, which resulted in Mrs. Erickson receiving a citation for driving 21 m.p.h. in the left lane of a busy freeway. Film at 11.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The kids should not have been in the street!
      • 7 Years Ago
      time to add whistle tips to the prius. woo woo! y'know what i'm sayin'?
        • 7 Years Ago

        you know we are talking about hybrid car here which at low speeds doesn't produce any emissions
      • 7 Years Ago
      Back in '87 I was driving my S-10 Blazer on the residential streets in my development, I came to a stop sign.

      While stopped a boy ran into the street, chasing a ball, ran into the side of my Blazer. THUNK! Amazing, that little sound brought every adult in the area out to look at the "accident".

      He told his parents that I ran him over... I saw my life and freedom flash before my eyes, I imagined becoming somebodys best friend in the house of many doors....

      THANKFULLY, his friends ratted him out, 5 or 6 of them told the parents and the police who arrived by then that the little idiot ran into ME!

      I'll tell you, I thing he should have been grounded for 20 tears and on parole for 10 more!

      Needless to say, my '85 S-10 Blazer was neither a hybrid, nor silent. Stupid is just stupid, and being stupid should hurt.
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