Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Quiet hybrids pose an `invisible’ risk

`As hybrid sales skyrocket, there’s a growing concern that the battery-gas powered vehicles pose a risk because they aren’t as noisy as gas-powered engines. When idling, hybrids run on the quiet electric battery. Most, with the exception of GM and Honda hybrids, can also operate on the battery until the car reaches higher speeds, when the gas engine kicks in.

What follows is silence at locations where drivers are likely to tangle with pedestrians and bicyclists — crosswalks, turning lanes and parking lots.

In Sant’Anna’s case, an elderly man enjoying a morning walk didn’t hear her coming as she backed into the street. She lunged for the brake, stopping just short of hitting him.’

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