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Have you noticed more pedestians or cyclists not noticing you in an EV?

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I'm test driving a Nissan Leaf for a few days and a pedestrian walked out in front of me without looking. There was a queue of traffic turning left and a few sounded their horns to attract her attention, but she just carried on walking, looking the other way without a glance toward me. I just about managed to stop less than a meter away which scared the bejeebers out of me. She was (and I assume, still is) completely oblivious to what nearly happened. It is entirely possible that this would have happened in an ICE, but seems odd that it happened a few days after trying an EV. I was sticking to the speed limit (40 MPH), so I don't think speed was an issue.

Is this something I need to be a lot more aware of when I change to an EV?
 

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Was she youngish and wearing headphones? Does the Leaf not have the girly pedestrian horn like the Ampera/Volt ?

M
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for that. I did a search for pedestrians in the box before posting the thread, but that one didn't pop up in the results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Was she youngish and wearing headphones? Does the Leaf not have the girly pedestrian horn like the Ampera/Volt ?

M
No earphones, literally looked the opposite way crossing a dual carriageway!
Couldn't use the horn as I was too petrified and no idea where it was in the demonstrator.
 

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Glyn Hopkin EV Business Development Manager
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Not happen to me yet.
But a number of customers have shown a concern for the lack of noise and the possible problems to pedestrian.

My response is that from memory Charlie said: STOP, LOOK and LISTEN and therefore all senses not just hearing should be used.

Especially as the current world we live in means most people under a certain age will have a phone and/or headphones permanently attached to their ears. Therefore it doesn't matter if you sound is less than a ceiling fan or more than dust cart.
 

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Give 'em a blast on the horn - that's what it's for, not as a rebuke tool! Yes, it will give them a start but it may make them think twice in future. You may just save their life....

Not sure there's much road awareness goes on in schools/on TV these days.
 

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Because of some earlier conversations, I've been watching pedestrians reactions and can't notice any difference. But in my pedestrian and cyclist experience, the general noisiness of traffic makes that only loud vehicles stand out (mostly motorbikes and sporty cars). Not much difference between quiet and silent in that environment.
 

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I was sticking to the speed limit (40 MPH), so I don't think speed was an issue.
From I think 30mph if it's not fresh tarmac ICE and EV sounds very similar because of road noise from tyres.

I've been to taught that I need look left and right, not to listen anyway :D
 

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A friend recently hit a young lady while driving his Kangoo electric, and was worried he should install some sound, but since the girl had earphones still in her ears when on the ground and walked out from between two vehicles without looking, I fear he could have had an air horn and still hit her.
I purchased a number of Berlingo Electriques from a London borough who used then as meals on wheels delivery vehicles, and over 8 years and a number (Over 10) of vehicles , they had not one issue by the drivers, or public complaint.
Just go and listen to the approach of an expensive Merc, or Lexus or Rolls, and then ask why people dont think they are too quiet.
Personally I dont believe this is an Issue with over 50K miles of electric driving over the last few years, I have not had any problems with pedestrians, perhaps Im lucky. Ive had more problems with trucks tailgating me over bridges and up hills, just because I cant do 50mph up hill.
 

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i3 with Range Extender (EREV) Sept 2014
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Seen a kid on a bike today almost knocked off it by ICE car, he was wearing ear pods and did not look so either way no difference.
The only issue I've had is in car parks where people walk down the middle of the roadway towards pedestrian exit when I can be behind them at walking pace waiting for exit ramp.
 

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Does the Leaf not have a noise generator? I have to admit the VW EVs are stupidly quiet - there is much less motor noise than any other EV I have experienced...
 

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Former Innovation Specialist
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Grrrrrrr:mad:
 

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I've had my leaf 2.5 years. I can't say I've noticed any differences wrt pedestrians. There's an increasing number of cars nearly silent at low speed be it from light hybrids, or quiet ICE...
 

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Yes they do, they make a sort of whine, it's horrible and doesn't seem to really make any difference.
Not only that...it's relatively high pitched, which is the hearing range that one loses soonest with age isn't it? Certainly the aging population pottering around Grange and Cartmel don't seem to hear it.
 

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I think at 40mph the EV would have been making plenty of road noise. Only time I have an issue is when I'm creeping through car parks at walking speed in both our EV and Hybrid. I have noticed pedestrians with attitude who actually look you in the eye as they step out in front of you, daring you to bounce them off the bonnet. I hate that type of human.
 
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