June 19, 2024
Electric & Hybrid Cars

Study Finds: Hybrids and Electric Vehicles Pose Higher Risks to Pedestrians in the UK

The number of pedestrian fatalities in the United States has significantly increased over the past five years, possibly due to a rise in distracted driving and other factors. It has become evident that hybrid and electric vehicles pose a greater risk to pedestrians. A recent study conducted in the UK revealed that these vehicles are twice as likely to collide with pedestrians compared to traditional combustion engine vehicles, with the likelihood increasing to three times in urban areas.

It is important to note that this information is not meant to criticize electric vehicles; rather, it highlights certain safety concerns. Electric cars are quieter than gasoline cars, making it harder for pedestrians to hear them approaching, despite regulations requiring them to emit sounds at lower speeds. Additionally, they are often driven by younger, less experienced drivers. A 2017 study by the U.S. Department of Transportation also showed that EVs and hybrids carry a 20 percent higher risk than vehicles with internal combustion engines, which spikes to 50 percent during slow maneuvers.

One of the researchers involved in the study, Phil Edwards, emphasized the potential hazards electric cars pose to pedestrians due to their lack of noise compared to traditional vehicles. He stated that the government must address these risks, particularly as there is a push to phase out petrol and diesel cars in favor of electric vehicles. Edwards advised drivers transitioning to electric cars to exercise extra caution due to their quieter nature and to be mindful of pedestrians who rely on auditory cues to navigate traffic.

Edwards also pointed out that the stronger acceleration and heavier weight of EVs can lead to longer stopping distances, further increasing the risk to pedestrians. He suggested that if the government promotes electrification, it should also implement stricter safety measures to protect pedestrians.


Q: Are electric vehicles inherently more dangerous to pedestrians?
A: Electric vehicles present a higher risk to pedestrians due to their quieter operation and other factors such as driver demographics and vehicle characteristics.


While electric vehicles offer many benefits in terms of sustainability and technology, it is crucial to address the safety concerns they pose to pedestrians. By implementing measures to mitigate these risks, such as enhanced noise-emitting systems and driver awareness campaigns, we can strive towards a safer coexistence between pedestrians and electric vehicles.

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