Study looks into hybrid car risks

(Excerpt from http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/business/a/-/national/7262020/study-looks-into-hybrid-car-risks/)

A world-first study into the risks quiet hybrid cars pose to visually impaired pedestrians will be launched in Queensland on Thursday.

Queensland motoring group RACQ will conduct the research in response to local and international media reports suggesting silent hybrid vehicles are a greater hazard to pedestrians because people can’t hear them coming.

RACQ spokesman Joe Fitzgerald says there have been some overseas research into hybrid cars and the risks to pedestrians, but none that focused on the effects on visionally impaired pedestrians in real life situations.

“This will be the first time that anyone will look at the effect hybrid cars have on vision impaired people,” Mr Fitzgerald said.

Ten volunteers, some sighted, some visually impaired and some blind, will take part in the study involving hybrid and conventional vehicles.

Details of how the study will be conducted will be revealed at the launch on Thursday at the Lakeside Raceway in Kurwongbah, north of Brisbane.

Renowned blind adventurer Gerrard Gosens will help launch the study, which also involves Vision Australia and Guide Dogs Queensland.

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