Hybrid cars are becoming very popular over here in the states because of their smooth ride, quiet engine, and excellent gas mileage. There's been one major issue that no one saw coming and it's directly related to the engine. It's too quiet. Many citizens that are sight impaired are having a difficult time knowing that a car is there because they can't hear it.
If you've ever been standing next to a hybrid while it was running you may have asked your self if it was running or not. The greatest danger appears to be when the car is driving at slow speeds like when backing up in a parking lot or while approaching an intersecting.
In order to make their hybrids easier to hear Toyota has created an add-on speaker system that will create a "whirring' sound that is supposed to replicate the sound that a regular engine would make. It's not too loud so that it doesn't become annoying. Hopefully it will be loud enough to be heard over other traffic on a busy street.
Currently the device is only sold in Japan and costs roughly $148. Toyota is still deciding on whether they will offer the device in other countries, like here in the U.S. As a Columbia car accident attorney I feel that a device like this is a great idea. I feel that it's a good way to help people know a car is there and avoid getting into a car accident .