Car makers should be made to fit sound systems to quiet electric and hybrid vehicles amid concern from charities, MEPs said today (Wednesday, February 6).
Road safety groups have also backed calls for warning devices to be built into cars in an effort to help blind and partially sighted people.
Catherine Bearder, an MEP for the South East, voted in favour of the move at the European Parliament after learning about the risks to road users as drivers switch to cars with quieter engines.
She said: "Without blindfolding ourselves, it is impossible to imagine how difficult it is to walk along or try and cross busy roads without being able to see cars.
"Quiet cars are not only an issue for blind and partially sighted people, but also for children and vulnerable road users."
Catherine also added her support to an amendment aimed at introducing minimum noise levels for quiet vehicles.
She added: "Quiet cars should be welcomed, they cut noise levels and electric cars reduce emissions. But road safety should be put first."
US-based research shows quiet vehicles are twice as likely to be involved in a pedestrian accident as cars fitted with an internal combustion engines.