As previously mentioned, our state contributed accident data to a recent federal traffic safety report that concluded that the Prius and other silent hybrid vehicles were striking a disproportionate share of pedestrians and cyclists. It seemed a cruel irony: Those eco-conscious Prius drivers might inadvertently cause harm to their fellow greenies. But now Chevy comes to the rescue.
As reported by Jalopnik, the Chevy Volt hybrid now comes equipped with a chirping warning signal drivers can flick to alert those who don't hear the car coming. Certainly this is better than having a motorist honk at you, which can be so startling to a cyclist to cause, not prevent, an accident. But to be serenaded with a gently scolding "Ping ping ping" sound every time a hybrid breezes by? That would be even more annoying than the redundant old Obama bumper stickers they refuse to take off. (Dude, we know how you voted.) So here's a tip to Toyota: Let Prius drivers download custom warning tones for bikers and peds. Or let them hook up their iPods. So when we hear the music of Yanni, we'll know they're coming.