Recently while I was walking home with friends, I decided to ride my skateboard in the street to have a little fun. While admittedly a bit stupid, I made sure to be careful and look for any cars that may be around. However, while I was messing around on my board, a loud honk came from a Tesla behind me. I immediately got out of the way, however, I realized that there wasn’t a single audible indicator that signified its presence. This presents the question: is it truly safe for pedestrians to possess a car that’s almost entirely silent?
Almost every person who’s ridden a bike or skateboard on a road can tell you cars are dangerous. It’s common sense. Of course, people make sure to look out for them, but everyone can only have one pair of eyes. As a way to compensate, we also use our ears to listen. Car engines are loud enough that any pedestrian can easily hear it and move out of the driver’s way. However, the introduction of electric cars has become a safety hazard. It’s the same as me riding my bike to school with headphones in, oblivious to the noise around me.
The obvious risks to pedestrians are easily visible to any person with common sense. That being said, electric cars are the future, and we can’t stop their implementation. I’m not at all against them, but this concern is extremely valid and needs to be fixed if electric cars become the status quo.
Interestingly, I’m not the only person with this concern. A few years ago at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb race, an electric motorcycle raced for the first time ever. Impressively, it won against all the other gas motorcycles. However, as a requirement to race the motorbike, it had to be loud enough for spectators to hear the oncoming biker.
All in all, I believe this topic is something that needs to be discussed more. A solution could easily be found as long as we put our minds to it. I hope this article can bring more attention to this issue and that we find a solution as soon as possible.