Consumer VOICE

Time is Ripe for Need of Safer Cars in India

The reason for accidents on Indian roads is not only due to rash or drunken driving. Many accidents occur due to faulty or limited safety features in the car. Over 13 lakh people have been killed in road accidents in India in the past decade, 1.46 lakh people were killed in 2015 alone. However, this is probably an underestimate, as not all injuries are reported to the police. 

Accidents occur not only due to the increase in the number of vehicles on the road but also due to the lack of safety features in Indian cars which have been criticized as being insufficient and ineffective compared to developed countries. Safety of vehicles has great role in reducing or preventing road accident fatalities.

Car Safety Features

 

State of Safety in Indian Cars

India is world’s sixth largest Car Market - 2.03 million passenger cars were sold in India as per last year data. Recently when some of the popular cars in India were tested on NCAP standards, 4 out of 5 got zero rating. The most sold cars in India are devoid of basic safety features such as occupant protection in front/lateral collisions; electronic stability control etc.

Safety is an essential requisite for an automobile to be road-worthy for automobiles. Vehicle collisions are the leading cause of injury-related deaths, an estimated total of 1.2 million in 2004, or 25% of the total from all causes. Thus, safety features in cars need to be improved not only to protect the passengers but to completely eliminate road accidents.

Safe Systems Approach

Safe vehicles are an important part of the Safe Systems approach, as they play a critical role both in averting crashes and reducing the likelihood of serious injury in the event of a crash. Policymakers must give more attention to making vehicles and roads safer.  Over the past few decades a combination of regulatory requirements and consumer demand has led to increasingly safe cars in many high-income countries. Many of the features that began as relatively expensive safety “add-ons” in high end vehicles have since become much cheaper and – in some countries – are now mandatory requirements for all vehicles.

Proposed Regulations for Car Safety in India

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