Should hybrids pump up the volume?

Motor Trend recently published a doozy of a conclusion regarding hybrid vehicles. According to the article, hybrids, especially full versions like the Toyota Prius, are so quiet that many a pedestrian walks right in front/behind them because he or she can’t hear any telltale engine noise.

"I had to jump out of the way of a hybrid, which suddenly, and completely silently, moved toward me," said Tom Battle, director of engineering at Symantec, a software company. "The car was a brand new Prius, which I remember because it was still very shiny."

Safety officials such as the police currently do not track accidents whose cause is vehicle silence. In 2003, the National Federation of the Blind, had raised hybrid engine silence as a concern for those visually-impaired.

There is currently no study on this issue by the federal government.

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