The European Parliament has called for electric and hybrid cars to be fitted with alarms to protect blind and partially-sighted people.
MEPs have voted to compel car companies to install alert systems in vehicles with quieter engines following demands from charities and road safety advisory groups.
Research in the US has shown that petrol-powered cars are less likely to be involved in a collision with a pedestrian than electric or hybrid vehicles, giving rise to the possibility of accidents andcar insurance issues.
Catherine Bearder, Liberal Democrat MEP for the South East, 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."
Ms Bearder added that the alert systems could also help children and vulnerable road users as well as the blind and partially sighted.
MEPs also supported minimum noise restrictions to vehicles, as well as adding noise performance labels to new cars.
"Quiet cars should be welcomed, they cut noise levels and electric cars reduce emissions. But road safety should be put first," Ms Bearder said.
Copyright Press Association 2013