Hybrid owners, watch for blind walkers

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I am pleased to watch the natural progression of technology as we all move to a cleaner way of living. Hybrid vehicles are especially interesting to me, and not only because they seem to be much better for our environment.

I am paying extra attention to these nearly silent vehicles because I am blind.

While crossing an intersection, I depend on my hearing to determine a safe time to walk. I am fortunate to always be accompanied by my leader dog, Ace. Still, I must tell Ace when to move forward based on the traffic sounds around me. My dog guide serves as a double-check for my safety, and can assist with traffic.

These vehicles present a new set of challenges when traveling, and make identifying traffic sounds as crossing clues extremely difficult. I know that at Leader Dogs for the Blind in Rochester, Mich., they are training tomorrow's leader dogs to look for hybrid vehicles. The organization's instructors use a donated Toyota Prius to expose the dogs to the nearly silent vehicles.

But, as diligently as they all may work, the vehicles are still difficult to detect. If you are driving a hybrid vehicle, please keep this in mind and try to look for people who can't always look for you.

Mike Cox, Martinez

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patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 02/26/08 - 07:17 am
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This is obviously an

This is obviously an important lesson for often inattentive drivers. Maybe another good idea would be for the blind to carry brightly colored or reflective canes.

aftbrn
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aftbrn 02/26/08 - 08:43 am
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May I suggest that the blind

May I suggest that the blind wear a flashing light on their head similiar to those used in construction zones. A cane may not be easy see if they are holding it at their side. If bicyclists wear them why can't the blind? Of course one will have to be made that makes noise too, so the blind can tell when it's on.

AMGuiney
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AMGuiney 02/26/08 - 09:38 am
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Hybrid cars are a marketing

Hybrid cars are a marketing sham. In studies it is proven hybrids get no better millage on the highway of in rural settings. They only save gas when in stop and go traffic. But a push gas to start set up would perform equally as well without the extra expense of batteries that are an environmental hazard. Same concept as a gas powered golf car, and you won't have to worry about pedestrians as much, right?

Mrs Genevive Bait
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Mrs Genevive Bait 02/26/08 - 10:39 am
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Perhaps the blind could wear

Perhaps the blind could wear hats and then they could set those hats on fire. If they covered their heads in Vaseline the burns would be minimal.
If someone would read this suggestion to some blind people I'd be interested in what they think.
The alternative might just be for drivers to PAY ATTENTION!!!

imdstuf
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imdstuf 02/26/08 - 02:04 pm
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AMGuiney, people like you are

AMGuiney, people like you are a sham. Hybrids are not perfect, but tests have in fact shown them to be more efficient. We could have full electric cars, but the oil industry has deep pockets to stop the auto manufacturers from bringing them to mass market.

As for the blind pedestrians, I feel bad for them. We as drivers do shirk our responsibilities as drivers sometimes (I admit I am not perfect and I doubt others are either...we take driving for granted and do not always take it as serious as we should).

JonR
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JonR 02/26/08 - 06:58 pm
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I guess we could have all

I guess we could have all electric cars and charge them using a coal fired power plant. Good idea.

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