National Federation of the Blind
Committee on Automobile and Pedestrian Safety⁄Quiet Cars
Welcome to the Quiet Cars webpage sponsored by the National
Federation of the Blind (NFB). This page was created in response to
concerns among pedestrians, especially pedestrians who are blind,
about the growing trend for automobile manufacturers to design
extremely quiet vehicles. These vehicles pose a hazard to
pedestrians and cyclists, who need to be aware of approaching cars
that are out of their line of sight. Children and seniors are likely
to be most vulnerable. Quiet vehicles are highly problematic for
blind pedestrians, who depend on the sound emitted by cars in order
to travel safely and independently.
We all benefit from a less noisy environment, and we applaud the
efforts of the automotive industry to control noise pollution.
However, we feel strongly that the industry must take measures to
insure the safety of blind and sighted pedestrians. We believe that
vehicles can be designed to emit an inoffensive sound that will give
pedestrians the information they need. We call upon the automotive
industry to work with the NFB and other concerned organizations to
develop a solution to the pedestrian-safety problems which quiet cars
On this page you will find links to published articles about quiet
cars and pedestrian safety. You can also read resolutions about
quiet cars that have been passed by the NFB and other organizations.
We will post news of relevant research and of policy within the auto
industry and the government. Finally, we offer a place where you can
describe your experiences dealing with quiet cars and share your
ideas on how these vehicles can be made pedestrian-safe. We are
eager to hear from you.
As they become more and more prevalent, quiet cars will compromise
the safety of millions of people throughout the world. By working
together concerned citizens can address the problems posed by these vehicles
Most recently, a new website has emerged taking up the topic of Quiet Cars. This site is Virginia's Quiet Cars.
On Wednesday, January 5, The National Federation of the Blind commended President Barack Obama for signing into law the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act (S. 841),
which will protect the blind and other pedestrians from injury as a result of silent vehicle technology. Because blind pedestrians cannot locate and
evaluate traffic using their vision, they must listen to traffic to discern its speed, direction, and other attributes in order to travel safely and independently.
New vehicles that employ hybrid or electric engine technology can be silent, rendering them extremely dangerous in situations where vehicles and pedestrians
come into proximity with each other. For more information on this exciting development, please read the
official press release.
From NFB Websites with Interviews with Members:
Legislative Alert 06-10-2010
Resolution 2006-05 - from the Article "2006 Resolutions of the National Federation of the
Blind, Braille Monitor, ⁄September Issue
Stop, Look, and Listen: Quiet Vehicles and Pedestrian Safety
by Deborah Kent Stein ; from: The Braille Monitor, June 2005
Resolution 2003-05 Regarding Quiet Cars From the Braille Monitor, August⁄September, 2003
Minutes from the committee on quiet Cars and Pedestrian Safety, held July 2006 in Dallas,
Quiet Car conference Summary, November 4, 2006
Blind Pedestrians Say Quiet Hybrids Pose Safety Threat
Published 2/13/2007; Outlet: The Wall Street Journal; By RAYMUND FLANDEZ
NPR Interviews - NFB on Quiet Cars Concerns - An interview with 1st Vice-President Dr. Fredric K.
Schroeder on 2/23/2007.
We Want Cars That sound Like Cars by Daniel B. Frye
Braille Monitor November 2007
Download a sample of a suggested
Quiet Cars Legislative Bill in MS Word
Washington Seminar 2008--Legislative Agenda--Quiet Cars Fact Sheet can be found here
Download "The Danger Posed by Silent
Vehicles"A report delivered on 2/19/08in Geneva, by Dr. Marc Maurer
NFB continues work on
issue of silent cars 2/21/2008 11:40:00 AM; From: Voice of the Nations Blind Blog
about the Problems Caused by Quiet Cars by Gary Wunder; Story appeared in the March 2008
issue of the Braille Monitor.
Download/Read "Legislative Alert" - Enhancement Act (H-5734),
This is a summary of H-5734, the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act,
introduced by Edolphus Towns (D-NY) and Cliff Stearns (R-FL). Please share
this information with groups and individuals, and encourage them to urge their
legislators to sponsor the bill.
More quiet cars in the
news From: Voice of the Nations Blind BLOG, Posted: May 8, 2008
NFB - National Convention Highlights 2008 Here you will find links to the quiet Car presentation
on Wednesday afternoon, July 2 during the General Session.
2008 Resolutions of the National Federation of the Blind --RESOLUTION 2008-02
Regarding Momentum Toward Solving the Quiet Cars Crisis
Make Sat Final - Brighter - Smaller - Video
The next three links/documents cover what the State of Maryland is doing with our quiet Cars
MD Quiet Vehicle Pedestrian Safety Task Force Report--Dinal
Transmittal Letter - Quiet Vehicles TF Report-revised(2)
PDF2 rMinimum Sound Standard Development Plan_11 25 2008
Testing the Audibility of Quiet Cars (28 MB)
This video, created by Lawrence D. Rosenblum, professor at University of California, Riverside, was
shown at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Public Forum on Quiet Cars on June 23,
2008. The video is a presentation of Dr. Rosenblum's findings regarding the audibility of quiet cars
such as hybrids.
From The Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER)
the following documents were provided by AER. You can read or download these MS Word files to your computer.
Read the 1996 AER Resolution on Quiet Cars
Download the 1996 AER Resolution on Quiet Cars
Read the 2000 AER Resolution on Quiet Cars
Download the 2000 AER Resolution on Quiet Cars
Read the 2004 AER Resolution on Quiet Cars
Download the 2004 AER Resolution on Quiet Cars
(download) NFB of Maryland passed Resolution 2008-05-Hybrids and Silent Vehicles /a> in Word format
the lead person in Acoustic Research and the Quiet Cars/Hybrid Car
Dr. Lawrence D. Rosenblum's Homepage>
A website devoted to experimenting with sound perception and the "Quiet Car/Hybrid Car".
Audiovisual speech Web-Lab>
THE FOLLOWING LINK IS THE RESULT OF RESEARCH AND THE FORMATION OF
Enhanced Vehicle Acoustics
EVA Sounds for NFB Here you will find sample recordings
The following link was sent to us as another source of development to resolve the concerns of Quiet Cars/Hybrids.
Join the Mailing List:
A Public mailing list on "Quiet Cars" has been started. You can join the list in several different ways--the first is by going to the
QuietCars Info Page
Or, Subscribe using your favorite e-mail program to:
Subscribe to Quiet Cars. the e-mail address and subject fields are already filled in for you, just send it as a blank message.
Unsubscribe from Quiet Cars.
Homepage of the National Federation of the Blind
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Federation of the Blind Reader Website
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Become a Mentor
Releases Now Available Here!
NFB - Braille Initiative
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Deborah Kent Stein, Chair, Chicago, Illinois
Bryan Bashin, Board member NFB of California
Doug C. Boone, President, D. Boone Consultants
Ron Gardner, Attorney at Law; President, NFB of Utah
Noel Nightingale, immediate past president, National Federation of the Blind of Washington
Barbara Pierce, Editor, Braille Monitor
Sumara Shakeel, M.A., NOMC, NFB of New Jersey
Gary Wunder, Secretary, National Federation of the Blind
E-mail: Deborah Kent Stein, committee Chair
For Problems with this site E-mail:
Updated: Wednesday, January 05, 2011
Copyright, © 2006-2011 by The National Federation of the Blind, Committee on Automobile
and Pedestrian Safety, All Rights Reserved