A bit ironic this–electric and hybrid cars are too quiet. People want the cars to make more noise because the quiet cars are a danger to cyclists, the blind, and children.
It is true, we depend on our hearing for lots of traffic information. I know because here in Suzhou there are thousands of electric scooters. While cycling I have cut in front of one twice, both times causing a minor collision. Of course I have adjusted my expectations and I now look behind me before I turn.
I say “ironic” because the noise of autombiles was always considered a negative. The article points to a study done in Sweden that links traffic noise to heart attacks. Now we want more noise from traffic?
If traffic noise is so essential to our safety, shouldn’t we ban the use of headphones/earphones by cyclists and pedestrians? I like the idea of quiet streets.