Silent but Deadly report

Our recommendations

Guide Dogs is concerned about the lack of noise generated by quiet electric and hybrid vehicles. Guide Dogs supports moves to create international standards for sounds to be generated by quiet electric and hybrid vehicles when manoeuvring at low speeds, especially at less than 20 miles per hour (MPH). Guide Dogs encourages the UK government and manufacturers of UK vehicles to adopt these recommendations when ratified. However, it is vital that the standards adopted are stringent enough to ensure the safety of the UK's roads.

Guide Dogs wants to ensure the safety of pedestrians, vulnerable road users and especially blind and partially sighted people in relation to the threats and potential dangers posed by quiet electric and hybrid vehicles. 

Our Silent but Deadly report makes the following recommendations:

  • That the vehicle is audible regardless of location and speed
  • That any noise-generating system takes account of when a vehicle is operating in quieter conditions
  • That the noise-generating system indicates the direction of the car and what it is doing, particularly if it is stationary in traffic
  • That the noise generated sounds like a vehicle and replicates the sound made by a similar vehicle with an internal combustion engine performing the same manoeuvres
  • That systems do not have a "pause switch" so that drivers cannot turn off the system at will

The Silent but Deadly executive Summary is available to download (PDF 687kb) or (word 97kb)




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Hybrid and electric vehicles are so quiet that pedestrians may only hear them when they are just one second from impact. Help make roads safer for blind and partially sighted pedestrians by supporting our safe and sound campaign.


Silent but Deadly

Image of the Silent but Deadly report cover

The 'Silent but Deadly' executive summary is available for download (PDF 687kb) and (Word 97kb)