A new study out from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that hybrid electric vehicles are more likely to collide with pedestrians and bicyclists than vehicles powered by internal combustion engines. At low speeds, when an electric motor is most likely to be engaged, the collision rate for hybrids was double.
I don’t doubt these findings; I’ve been startled more than a few times by hybrids that “snuck up” behind me in a parking lot.
From the study:
This study found that pedestrian and bicyclist crashes involving both HEVs and ICE vehicles commonly occurred on roadways, in zones with low speed limits, during daytime, and in clear weather, with higher incidence rates for HEVs when compared to ICE vehicles.
A variety of crash factors were examined to determine the relative incidence rates of HEVs versus ICE vehicles in a range of crash scenarios. For one group of scenarios, those in which a vehicle is slowing or stopping, backing up, or entering or leaving a parking space, a statistically significant effect was found due to engine type. The HEV was two times more likely to be involved in a pedestrian crash in these situations than was an ICE vehicle.
Read the full technical report [1.3mb PDF] →