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      05-08-2008, 04:57 PM   #1
hks786
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Exclamation 8-year old boy hit by Toyota Prius, raises debate over hybrid minimum sound levels

On Sunday, and eight-year old boy was hit while riding his bike by a Toyota Prius because he couldn't hear the vehicle approaching.

Owen Erickson emerged from the accident with only minor bumps and bruises, but did end up on the hood of the Prius. Erickson was at fault for the accident as he he rode his bike into the path of the vehicle but his mother did put some of the blame on the hybrid as it was operating in silent EV mode.

It is believed that this is one of the first accident in the U.S. that can be linked to a hybrid's silent operation and gives credence to the bill currently in U.S. House of Representatives.

Toyota has yet to comment on the legislation but acknowledges that the situation needs to be looked at. "We do have to step back and take a look," John Hanson, Toyota's national manager of environmental, safety and quality communications, told KARE 11 News, an NBC affiliate.

So far Fisker maker of the upcoming Karma Hybrid is the only automaker to address the need of a minimum sound level for hybrids.
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      05-08-2008, 05:01 PM   #2
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they brought that up before but all electric cars will be quiet. so what do to? not build electric cars?

honestly quieter the better.
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      05-08-2008, 05:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
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they brought that up before but all electric cars will be quiet. so what do to? not build electric cars?

honestly quieter the better.
No, make them all make that old printer noise. Hah!
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      05-08-2008, 05:28 PM   #4
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it isnt the cars fault...its just natural selection at work
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      05-08-2008, 06:06 PM   #5
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^ haha, very true. the kid's mother should teach her son the basics to survive.
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      05-08-2008, 06:13 PM   #6
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it isnt the cars fault...its just natural selection at work
+1 lol god bless charles darwin
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      05-08-2008, 06:41 PM   #7
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Guys don't blame the kid. I've bike a lot and really rely on my hearing to know whether or not cars are approaching. You look as much as you can, but pedestrians and bikers aren't equipped with side and rear view mirrors like cars are.

Its really dangerous how quiet hybrids are. Yea its cool and futuristic but this is a problem that needs to be addressed before more people get hurt.
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      05-08-2008, 11:00 PM   #8
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With most cars now the engine is almost silent at cruise. It's tire noise that is most noticeable. Maybe knobbies should be mandatory...
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      05-09-2008, 01:26 AM   #9
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Many of the companies that teach dogs for use as guide dogs for the blind have hybrid cars in their inventory just so the dogs can get used to not hearing engine noise and still knowing its a car.
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      05-09-2008, 01:32 AM   #10
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Been saying that silent cars will cause shit like this to happen for years.

That's why i make mine louder.

In seriousness, bad on the kid for not looking and bad on the Prius for never sounding like its freaking on!
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      05-09-2008, 03:41 AM   #11
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Its America, every1 blames on each other man.
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      05-09-2008, 09:28 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Its America, every1 blames on each other man.
And that's what pisses me off. It's never anyones fault. Something or someone else caused it.

But there is a problem with the cars being too quiet imo. I also think the quietness of an engine and sealed interior will eventually cause more people to fall asleep at the wheel. It's a bad combo.
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      05-09-2008, 09:43 AM   #13
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Its America, every1 blames on each other man.
neh...its more like everyone sues anyone for anything....
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      05-09-2008, 10:16 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x5love View Post
You look as much as you can, but pedestrians and bikers aren't equipped with side and rear view mirrors like cars are.
A pedestrian can easily turn and look, if not they deserve to be hit. A biker maybe not as easily, but then maybe it should have sideview mirrors if it's an issue for them.
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      05-11-2008, 09:22 AM   #15
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+2 on the "blame someone else" mentality in the states. It annoys the crap out of me.

Maybe they should mandate the install of the "whistlers" on Prius'. lol
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      05-11-2008, 10:13 AM   #16
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It's more of a problem for blind people.
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      05-11-2008, 05:21 PM   #17
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Jeromy Clarkson mentioned that in his review of the Prius:

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      05-11-2008, 06:06 PM   #18
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Jeromy Clarkson mentioned that in his review of the Prius:

that is exactly what i thought of when i saw this thread
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      05-11-2008, 07:20 PM   #19
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Prius in hybrid mode is not quieter than most new cars at idle or when braking, and regular cars in slow speed zones spend more than 50% of time with driver not pushing gas pedal down, so the engines are mostly silent. Also, if kid could get on the road quickly enough for the driver not to have time to stop (from 15-20 MPH I assume), the point of no return for him was most probably too far to hear an engine of a slow-moving regular car, especially if the kid was in a helmet (which he/she should have been). I'd say that the chance that the low noise of the hybrid played a critical role in this is very low.

By the way, bicycle is considered a vehicle, and it is illegal to drive it on public roads at this age in most States, plus it is illegal for a driver, including bicycle riders, to enter a road without yielding to incoming traffic... So the noise level is really a moot point - if you break the law and common sense on at least two counts, you are asking for trouble regardless of technology.
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      05-11-2008, 08:25 PM   #20
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Quote:
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neh...its more like everyone sues anyone for anything....
for real, this is quite bullshit
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      05-12-2008, 04:50 PM   #21
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Toyota should put baseball cards in the spokes so blind people won't get hit by speeding hybrid drivers.
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      05-12-2008, 07:15 PM   #22
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