A report in 2014 revealed that India reports the highest number of road accidents in the world. Our roads witness a fatal road accident every 3.7 minutes. And instead of decline in road accidents, year 2015 is all set to register highest ever road deaths till date. In spite of such data available to car manufacturers and to car buyers, not many consider safety as an important aspect of a car while manufacturing or buying, respectively.
National Highway 67, which connects the state of Karnataka with Tamil Nadu, has witnessed one such accident. This accident once again highlights the benefits of having safety features on board your car.
A family of four, 55 year old A S Mudhol, his 50 year old wife Sowbhagya, their children – 30 year old Sampathkumar and 26 year old Manju were on their way to Ooty over the weekend. Mr Mudhol, who works as an assistant manager in a local media outlet in Shivamogga (Shimoga earlier). He was driving the Maruti Swift in which the four were travelling.
Cruising at a decent speed, Mr Mudhol suddenly noticed a woman crossing the road (many of us would have witnessed a similar incident while driving or riding on our National Highways. This is because of the presence of local residences on the side of the highway).
Failing to stop the car in time, Mr Mudhol lost control of the Maruti Swift, and barged onto the wrong side, with oncoming traffic at high speed. This resulted in his Maruti Swift colliding with a BMW X1 compact SUV, head-on. All four inside the Swift have died, while the seven people travelling inside the BMW X1 have survived.
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It is not confirmed whether passengers inside the Swift were wearing seat belts or not, but the car did not have ABS or Airbags – the two basic safety features which should be offered as standard in all cars. On the other hand, BMW X1 is a 4/5 seater. There is no way all of them were wearing a seat belt. But still everyone inside the car survived. Thanks to a stronger body shell and airbags.
We are not comparing BMW with Maruti. But, if there were airbags and ABS in the Swift, and if the passengers were wearing seatbelts, the four would not have died.