Drivers and Guide-dogs Unite!

We have completed the first electric car (e-car) – visually impaired pedestrian research in Hungary!

We have tested an e-car with the participation of a blind employee of our Foundation.

The reason for this was, that those vehicles which moving in stealth mode, silently in the traffic, can be dangerous for the visually impaired people.

By the end, we came to that conclusion, that using the sound generator is necessary but not always effective, therefore the drivers help the most if they would lower their window and tell the visually impaired person that they can cross the street.

We have started our test in a less busy street

Namely to find out, how much it matters to a blind person walking on the street, if the sound generator of an e-car was turned on. The sound generator automatically turns on up to 30 KM per hour speed, but it turns itself off above the speed of 30 KM per hour or when the car is not in motion.

“It helps the visually impaired person if the e-car gives sound in a less busy street, because he has the chance to hear it. Therefore, in cars where the sound generator can be turned on and off, it helps if the driver leaves it on.  If the sound generator is not turned on, I, as a blind person, do not have the chance, especially if there is some wind or rain, it is impossible for me to hear the car coming. Obviously, a guide dog can help with it, as he won’t let me step in front of the car”

  • said Zoltán Vida, the employee of the Foundation for Baráthegyi School for Guide Dogs, who does not have residual vision, therefore he is blind.

The car we tested, automatically muted its sound generator when stopped. Zoltán Vida said about it, that by this, the information was completely lost for him: “I could not decide, what the driver wants, if he wants to go or not, if he stopped because he wanted to let me cross the street?”

It is a problem that at this stage there is no such regulation for the car manufacturers, that uniforms the sound generation for the electric cars. One brand of car has a type, the other has another type, which is more difficult to adapt for a visually impaired pedestrians, as the use of the e-cars will spread. One of the findings of our test is that an important point of view should arise for a possible regulation, such as all the e-car should give sound meanwhile stopped as well, because it would support the safety of traffic for visually impaired people.

We continued our test in a busy road-cross

We found out that it is impossible to filter the sound generator in the background noise of the traffic in a busy road-cross. The blind person can’t hear it, can’t distinguish between the sounds of thousand other cars.

Even though the sound generator was turned on in several situation, it could be felt on the blind tester that he was basically uncertain, couldn’t decide if he could go or not.

“You can go young man!”

“We got to that conclusion, that the drivers should tell that you can go, I let you cross, I take care of you and all should acquire this culture and follow this practice. Watch out for pedestrians that we all be able to participate in traffic safely.” – said Béla Schmidinger work-safety engineer, who was driving his car during our research.

Zoltán Vida agreed with it,, and added that honking, blinking, waving are not helping for a completely blind person because he can not see what is going on. Therefore, the simplest help is, that the driver lowers the window and tells the person that he can go.

Support a good case too!

You can offer 1 % of your tax, already today, for the training of guide dogs, if you log in your Client gate via this link.

Since 15 March it is possible to have access to the plan for tax declaration on the website of NAV.

It is possible to confirm or compile tax declaration on all smart-device.

It takes only a few minutes and you can experience the pride of sending support to a loyal guide dog.

You can find our short information HERE.

Our 1% tax number is: 18449149-1-05

Foundation for Baráthegyi School for Guide and Service Dogs

Think of the guide dogs! Thank you!