Pedestrians Face Double the Risk of Being Struck by Electric or Hybrid Vehicles

Electric or Hybrid Vehicles (NHTSA)

A recent study conducted in London has revealed a concerning trend in the era of electric vehicles: pedestrians are twice as likely to be hit by an electric or hybrid car as compared to a gasoline or diesel-powered vehicle.

The research suggests that the quiet operation of electric vehicles may be a key factor in this increased risk, particularly in noisy urban areas where pedestrians are almost three times as likely to be struck.

While the study’s lead researcher, Phil J. Edwards, emphasizes that electric cars are a vital tool in reducing air pollution, he also stresses the need for extra caution from EV drivers to mitigate the danger to pedestrians. The research highlights an outstanding gap in public safety, as the growing EV market has outpaced studies on its impact on pedestrian safety.

Hybrid Vehicles (NHTSA)

The findings are not entirely new, as a 2009 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also found that electric vehicles pose a higher risk to pedestrians, especially at low speeds.

However, it took over a decade for NHTSA to implement a law requiring electric cars to emit a sound loud enough to warn pedestrians when traveling below 19 mph.

The British study analyzed crash statistics across England, Scotland, and Wales from 2013 to 2017 and found that hybrid cars, which have both electric and gasoline engines, also pose a higher risk to pedestrians.

The research raises concerns about the extra weight of electric car batteries leading to more severe pedestrian injuries and the growing trend of vehicle-caused pedestrian deaths due to the increasing popularity of heavy SUVs and tall pickup trucks.

As the EV market continues to grow, it is essential to address the safety concerns surrounding electric vehicles and pedestrians. The study’s findings serve as a reminder for EV drivers to be more cautious and for policymakers to prioritize pedestrian safety in the era of electric transportation.