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Do quiet cars increase risks?

There are a lot of upsides to quiet cars. They tend to be battery-operated -- or at least hybrid vehicles -- which can help to reduce emissions, cut back on pollution and reduce the amount of money people have to spend at the pump. They also reduce noise pollution, of course, which can be very nice for those who live by busy streets.

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However, some stats suggest that there is a trade-off. The danger for pedestrians is higher when they're around these quiet vehicles.

According to some studies, the chances that a pedestrian will be hit by a car climbs by an astounding 40 percent when looking at quiet vehicles, rather than traditional automobiles. And that's not even in residential zones. In those areas, where people are more common and speed limits are lower -- and where children are more likely to be playing -- the risk increases by 50 percent.

Naturally, many of the same mistakes still cause pedestrian accidents. Drivers don't check crosswalks, for instance, or they don't stop at traffic signals. Distracted drivers run through stop signs or don't see pedestrians as they turn. Drivers who are impaired by drugs and alcohol make otherwise avoidable mistakes.

But, with quiet cars, it's simply less likely that the pedestrians themselves will hear the vehicles and take evasive action. This leads to an increase in accidents, making these silent cars a significant contributing factor.

If you have been injured in an accident with one of these cars, remember that you have a right to cross the roads safely. You're not obligated to hear the cars and get out of the way; drivers must drive safely and keep you from harm. As such, you may be able to seek compensation in Maryland.

Source: Traffic Safety Store, "Why People Get Hit: Eight Causes of Pedestrian Accidents," Dana Henry, accessed Dec. 19, 2016

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