When you hear a car coming down the street, you usually move aside to make sure you don't get hit, but what if you couldn't hear the car at all? That's the complaint from the government about electric and hybrid vehicles. They say they're simply too quiet at certain speeds and don't warn pedestrians, bicyclists and the visually impaired that a car is in the area.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says they want all electric and hybrid vehicles to make some noise when traveling under 18 miles per hour. The NHTSA says electric cars already make enough noise when traveling at higher speeds.
The agency says they would allow automakers to pick their own sounds, which must be loud enough for pedestrians to hear over background noises. The agency is taking public comment on the issue, before drafting a final rule.