Amarillo, TX - A quieter ride in a brand new car may not be the best thing after all.
As car companies work to attract customers with vehicles which block out traffic noise, it may make it harder for drivers to hear something they need to while driving.
You may have seen this recent commercial which says...
"When you're merging on to US cover your ears, you want a truck that helps keep the outside OUT. Chevy Silverado delivers a quiet cab a second to nobody in it's class." (Source: YouTube).
But, blocking out road noise means also blocking out emergency vehicle sirens.
"In the last ten years they are just getting more and more sound proof to make the driving conditions that more comfortable for the driver, but they can't hear us as well, in any kind of siren they're using, we're using, or EMS is using or even APD is using," Lt. David Kouba of the Amarillo Fire Department said.
It may be hard to hear an emergency vehicle as it approaches, but with the Howler in addition to the siren you'll not only be able to hear the vehicle you will be able to feel it as it approaches you.
"Several of the fire trucks in Amarillo have a Howler siren and what it does is it matches along with the siren that is already running on the fire truck and it's a lower pitch... it puts out a pulsing sound, it will also vibrate the vehicle as well so it changes up the tone a little bit so instead of a high pitch tone to a more of a lower pitch that seems to get attention a little bit better," Kouba said.
But drivers should still always be aware when driving and not have their music up to loud or be distracted by their phones and be on the look out for emergency responders.
"Always check in before they go through intersections even if you have a green light look both directions," Kouba said.