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Pedestrian Predicaments: Electric vehicles more likely to hit pedestrians than ICE vehicles, says recent study

Toronto, Ontario — According to a study run by The Guardian, hybrid and electric vehicles (EVs) are more likely to strike pedestrians than internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, especially in urban areas.

This information comes from an analysis of British road traffic accidents in which “data from 32 billion miles of battery-powered car travel and three trillion miles of petrol and diesel car trips showed that mile-for-mile electric and hybrid cars were twice as likely to hit pedestrians than fossil fuel-powered cars and three times more likely to do so in urban areas.”

While the reason for this rise in pedestrian collisions remains unclear, researchers involved in the analysis proposed that a number of cultural and technological factors are to blame.

Namely, “drivers of electric cars tend to be younger and less experienced, and the vehicles are much quieter than cars with combustion engines, making them harder to hear, especially in towns and cities.”

Another potential issue was that EVs “tend to have swift acceleration and are usually much heavier, making stopping distances longer.”

Moreover, in a 2017 United States Department of Transportation report, electric and hybrid vehicles were similarly reported to pose a 20 percent higher risk to pedestrians than ICE vehicles, and a 50 percent higher risk during low-speed moves, such as turning, reversing, starting into traffic and pulling to a stop.

To help mitigate these issues, EVs should emit audible sounds to help communicate their actions, the study concluded.

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