Better safe than sorry

by Chandan B Mallik 17 Sep 2022

The recent fatal accident involving Cyrus Mistry, Tata Sons former chairman has once again brought into the spotlight the issue of seatbelts and airbags in cars.

While active and passive safety systems vary in cars depending mostly on price points one cannot deny the fact that with the rising number of road accidents, policing alone cannot solve the problem.

The problem of adhering to police or government guidelines is not unique to India only. Even in countries like the UK, road safety experts have suggested that clearer guidelines are needed on the use of police technology to encourage use of mobile safety cameras and dash cams in prosecuting motorists using handheld mobile phones and not wearing seatbelts. Dashcams can be handy in such incidents when it comes to finding evidence.  

On the issue of mandatory fitment of more airbags in passenger cars irrespective of category or price points in India, the automotive industry has so far been lukewarm to the proposal citing that it would send the prices of cars up. This is a weak argument when it involves a human life.

What is for sure is that most airbags will deploy on impact. The airbag itself when deployed travels at very high speeds – 160-350km/h and can cause significant damage to a person. Car makers advise occupants to be at least 10 inches away from the airbag when it deploys. This is one of the key reasons why wearing a seatbelt is extremely important for the safety of the occupant. Both airbags and seatbelts are designed to protect the occupants. Not having one in action can be catastrophic.

In this issue of the magazine, we have covered interesting aspects from trendsetters like Marelli, Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, TI, Skoda and Jeep. Each of these brands gives us an idea of how the automotive industry is doing and what’s in store for consumers in the future.

On October 1, the government will make an official announcement as regards to the airbags for passenger vehicles. So, stay tuned with us.

Meanwhile, we strongly advise all car occupants to buckle up and stay safe when travelling!


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