Why India needs safer cars, explained by Global NCAP
India accounts for 10% of 1.3 million road accident fatalities globally despite accounting for only 1% of the world’s vehicle population. That’s a staggering number, which will continue to grow, unless buyers are not made aware of the importance of safety features in cars.
In India, about 1.38 lakh people were killed in around 4.9 lakh road accidents in 2012. Many of these would have survived, only if their car had basic safety features like Airbags and ABS. It is not that these features are expensive, for eg, Global NCAP says that fitting an airbag costs about $100 (Rs 6,000), which is nothing when compared to the fact that it can save your life if an accident occurs.
Earlier in the year, Global NCAP’s basic crash test results for entry level Maruti Suzuki Alto 800, Tata Nano, Ford Figo, Hyundai i10 and Volkswagen Polo were shocking. All these cars scored a zero and surprisingly none of them were fitted with airbags. Some of these cars don’t even come with airbags as an option and they are structurally week, which means even fitting them with airbags, won’t make much of a difference.
As a result of this result, Volkswagen rectified this by including dual front airbags as standard fitment on Polo variant from 1st February 2014. But, other car makers still continue to offer the same cars. Why is that? Mostly because of the fact that majority of Indian car buyer does not look for safety features as mandatory while buying a car. All they want is a price tag that is as low as possible. This is what Global NCAP believes has to change, in order to reduce number of fatalities due to road accidents in India. They have explained in detail the importance of cars with better safety rating in the video below.