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Old 17th December 2010, 18:18   #121
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Default Re: Which are India's safest cars?

I'm all for safety equipment (more the better) and I pestered and cajoled my dad to go for the top-end model when he bought a Figo recently (and I inherited our beloved Accent), but there's no better safety equipment than a sane driver.

However many bells and whistles you might add to a car, what's undeniable is people still manage to get killed in cars that are rated safe(est) the world over. It's impossible to replicate every single real-world situation in test conditions, so any equipment you have on your machine is limited in some way.

Some accidents are unavoidable, true, but it's also true that most others are, if the person behind the wheel used better judgement.
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Old 18th December 2010, 00:02   #122
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Default Re: Which are India's safest cars?

On a recent trip to Bangalore from Chennai there were lots of messages displayed on the highway. One of them read

"SAFETY GEARS ARE PLACED IN BETWEEN YOUR EARS"

Hats off to whoever came up with that line and I truly agree with it.
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Old 21st December 2010, 21:48   #123
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Default Re: Which are India's safest cars?

quote from HowStuffWorks "ABS Questions"
particularly see para highlighted in italics
ABS Questions

Should I pump the brake pedal when stopping in slippery conditions?
You absolutely should not pump the brake pedal in a car with ABS. Pumping the brakes *is a technique that is sometimes used in slippery conditions to allow the wheels to unlock so that the vehicle stays somewhat straight during a stop. In a car with ABS the wheels should never lock in the first place, so pumping the brakes will just make you take longer to stop.
In an emergency stop in a car with ABS, you should apply the brake pedal firmly and hold it while the ABS does all the work. You will feel a pulsing in the pedal that may be quite violent, but this is normal so don't let off the brake.

Do anti-lock brakes really work?
Anti-lock brakes really do help you stop better. They prevent wheels from locking up and provide the shortest stopping distance on slippery surfaces. But do they really prevent accidents? This is the true measure of the effectiveness of ABS systems.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has conducted several studies trying to determine if cars equipped with ABS are *involved in more or fewer fatal accidents. It turns out that in a 1996 study, vehicles equipped with ABS were overall no less likely to be involved in fatal accidents than vehicles without. The study actually stated that although cars with ABS were less likely to be involved in accidents fatal to the occupants of other cars, they are more likely to be involved in accidents fatal to the occupants of the ABS car, especially single-vehicle accidents.
There is much speculation about the reason for this. Some people think that drivers of ABS-equipped cars use the ABS incorrectly, either by pumping the brakes or by releasing the brakes when they feel the system pulsing. Some people think that since ABS allows you to steer during a panic stop, more people run off the road and crash.


That is why maybe ABS is banned on Formula One cars. In the US airbags are required by law but not ABS for cars.

Last edited by mgh : 21st December 2010 at 22:00.
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Old 23rd December 2010, 09:10   #124
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Default Re: Which are India's safest cars?

I feel that tata sierra, safari, indica, bolero etc etc and yes as av8er mentioned hm amby are the most safest cars on the indian roads. LOL
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Old 23rd December 2010, 09:28   #125
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Default Re: Which are India's safest cars?

Lot of people here saying the i20 comes with 6 airbags, this is not really the case. It varies from trim to trim.

Era, Magna - No Airbags
Sportz - Only Driver side Airbag
Asta, Asta(O) - Dual Airbags
Asta(O) - Dual+Side & Curtain Airbags
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Old 23rd December 2010, 09:37   #126
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Default Re: Which are India's safest cars?

If safety of a car was attributed to its build strength and chasis robustness, I'd go with Opel Corsa..

Firstly, its got thick 6-ply tyres, relatively low CG considering its low ground clearance and a thick, thick metal chasis.

I have a friend who was driving at 100km/hr on the Udupi-Mangalore highway and had a head-on collision with a truck. The whole bonnet area was smashed but the windshield had not a scratch.

The car doesn't not have ABS, EBS or Airbags, but there's a safe feeling in the car; something we don't get in a City with all the above.
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Old 23rd December 2010, 10:18   #127
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Default Re: Which are India's safest cars?

Yesterday I had a very close call, and in which I am not sure having ABS would've helped or not -
Was travelling from Hosur to Bangalore (daily commute) in the morning, and after the Ashok Leyland gate, the road was empty, and the road actually is a downward incline with a slight turn to the left further ahead before entering the Karnataka state border; and there is a gap in the median fence at that left turn.
Since the road was empty, and I was full of energy, I pressed the pedal of my safari a little more, and she zoomed up and we were at around 130kmph (I know I shouldn't have touched that speed), when I suddenly see this big bus from the other side of road enter the median gap and into my side of highway attempting a U turn. The distance between us was less and I slammed on the brakes very very hard like I never have done, which is the only thing I can do, the safari's wheels locked, she veered left and right and left, but I kept the brakes pressed hard and tried to steer as much as possible though wheels are locked. There was terrible screeching and swaying for a couple of seconds, and by the time the Safari reached the bus, the bus had completed the U turn leaving some space on the right. A very close call, and the Safari had just about managed to come to standstill behind the bus after all that braking.

It would've been a very bad crash, but I think the brakes held well and saved the day. My Safari does NOT have ABS: suppose I had ABS, the braking distance would've increased though I may have been able to steer her away from the bus. Agreed.
But I also tend to think if there was no place to steer, ABS would mean I hit the bus...
I personally feel safer letting the wheels lock and bring the car to a halt than let ABS work and increase braking distance.

But again in this scenario, had there been other cars/motorcycles/pedestrians closeby, I would have hit some definitely yesterday with all that swaying and screeching by the Safari(but yes, I wouldn't have got to that speed had it been a populated area).

So I still dont know whether ABS is good or bad. Maybe in some scenarios it helps and in some scenarios letting the wheels lock help... I still have my doubts.
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Old 23rd December 2010, 10:24   #128
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Default Re: Which are India's safest cars?

Whoa, that must've been some tense moments!

Although the ABS thread will answer your doubts, ABS does not mean your braking distance will increase; nor does it mean you would have hit the bus.

ABS would have ensured (if it kicked in) the wheels don't lock and DECREASE the braking distance and also would allow you to maneuver the vehicle as you want and hence not hit the bus (since the wheels wouldn't have locked, you could steer the vehicle).
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Old 23rd December 2010, 10:31   #129
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Default Re: Which are India's safest cars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by praful View Post
Lot of people here saying the i20 comes with 6 airbags, this is not really the case. It varies from trim to trim.

Era, Magna - No Airbags
Sportz - Only Driver side Airbag
Asta, Asta(O) - Dual Airbags
Asta(O) - Dual+Side & Curtain Airbags
They are partly true. Previously, all models above Astra used to come with 6 airbags (Dual+Side & 4 Curtain Airbags). My brother has one and i checked his car's manual yesterday. It is Sept 2009 model.

Last edited by mohandas : 23rd December 2010 at 10:32. Reason: multiple "with"
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Old 23rd December 2010, 10:32   #130
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Default Re: Which are India's safest cars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
Whoa, that must've been some tense moments!

Although the ABS thread will answer your doubts, ABS does not mean your braking distance will increase; nor does it mean you would have hit the bus.

ABS would have ensured (if it kicked in) the wheels don't lock and DECREASE the braking distance and also would allow you to maneuver the vehicle as you want and hence not hit the bus (since the wheels wouldn't have locked, you could steer the vehicle).
Yes, very tense few seconds as I wasn't sure if we will stop or will end up hitting the bus, but ultimately the Safari came to a stop very close to the bus, but after a lot of screeching and swaying to the left end of the road due to wheel locking.

But I dont agree with you when you say 'ABS would have ensured .. DECREASE the braking distance'. My understanding is ABS WILL NOT decrease braking distance but increase braking distance, with resultant benefit of steerability due to no locking of wheels.
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Old 23rd December 2010, 10:40   #131
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Default Re: Which are India's safest cars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by verditer View Post
Yes, very tense few seconds as I wasn't sure if we will stop or will end up hitting the bus, but ultimately the Safari came to a stop very close to the bus, but after a lot of screeching and swaying to the left end of the road due to wheel locking.

But I dont agree with you when you say 'ABS would have ensured .. DECREASE the braking distance'. My understanding is ABS WILL NOT decrease braking distance but increase braking distance, with resultant benefit of steerability due to no locking of wheels.
Again, it depends on conditions of the road; whether it has loose gravel. I feel, if the wheels don't lock, the vehicle should stop sooner (provided the road surface is clean and no gravel).
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Old 23rd December 2010, 11:00   #132
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Default Imo

The Car which is dynamically superior (good steering, able chassis) is a safe Car.

You don't want the air-bag or the thickness of the steel to save you every-time, do you?
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Old 23rd December 2010, 11:23   #133
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Default Re: Which are India's safest cars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by verditer View Post
It would've been a very bad crash, but I think the brakes held well and saved the day. My Safari does NOT have ABS: suppose I had ABS, the braking distance would've increased though I may have been able to steer her away from the bus. Agreed.
But I also tend to think if there was no place to steer, ABS would mean I hit the bus...
I personally feel safer letting the wheels lock and bring the car to a halt than let ABS work and increase braking distance.
I am really happy that you steered clear of what could have been a bad crash.

However, it is a myth that ABS increases stopping distance. It does not, rather, one cannot establish if that is the case always. In your case, if you were to have ABS, Safari wouldn't have veered left and right at all and the wheels would not have got locked.

Considering that rolling friction is always more than sliding friction (your vehicle skids when the wheels get locked) your vehicle would have stopped like you wanted it to be and much before if not in the same distance!

Drive safe!
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Old 23rd December 2010, 11:23   #134
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Default Re: Which are India's safest cars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by verditer View Post
Yes, very tense few seconds as I wasn't sure if we will stop or will end up hitting the bus, but ultimately the Safari came to a stop very close to the bus, but after a lot of screeching and swaying to the left end of the road due to wheel locking.

But I dont agree with you when you say 'ABS would have ensured .. DECREASE the braking distance'. My understanding is ABS WILL NOT decrease braking distance but increase braking distance, with resultant benefit of steerability due to no locking of wheels.
ABS will reduce the braking distance if it comes into efficacy.

Your braking deceleration is maximum when the wheels have firm contact with the road and the friction acts on the moving disc by the brakes.

Your braking deceleration reduces significantly if the wheels no longer have firm contact with the road. Because once the wheels lock - there is no moving frictional force between the disc and brake.

The disc and brake assembly is DESIGNED for moving friction.
The road and tyres "assembly" is DESIGNED for static friction (that is never losing contact with each other)

The moving friction force which is responsible for deceleration is much less in case of road+tyre than disc+brake.

Deceleration is the sole criteria for braking distance.


Added to the fact that once your wheels lock and start skidding on the road - you no longer have actual control over the vehicle (by steering).
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Old 23rd December 2010, 12:41   #135
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Default Re: Which are India's safest cars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alpha1 View Post
ABS will reduce the braking distance if it comes into efficacy.

Your braking deceleration is maximum when the wheels have firm contact with the road and the friction acts on the moving disc by the brakes.

Your braking deceleration reduces significantly if the wheels no longer have firm contact with the road. Because once the wheels lock - there is no moving frictional force between the disc and brake.

The disc and brake assembly is DESIGNED for moving friction.
The road and tyres "assembly" is DESIGNED for static friction (that is never losing contact with each other)

The moving friction force which is responsible for deceleration is much less in case of road+tyre than disc+brake.

Deceleration is the sole criteria for braking distance.


Added to the fact that once your wheels lock and start skidding on the road - you no longer have actual control over the vehicle (by steering).
That has to be one of the simplest ways to put the idea across

Once you have locked your wheels, your brakes are no longer working to stop your vehicle (as the brakes pads/discs are stationary w.r.t the wheel), and you're simply relying on the road surface to stop you. Locked wheels can be a nightmare on smooth asphalt/concrete.

What ABS effectively does is prevent your wheels from locking, and hence increases the duration where your brakes' stopping power is helping decelerate the car. What it also does is ensure your vehicle brakes in a stable manner & line as much as possible. Stopping distance varies with surface, speed and a lot of factors, but I'd prefer a car I can control (even if it takes a few more meters to stop in some cases), than an out of control beast where I can only slam the brakes and hope I don't crash into something or topple over.

For every case where you can't afford the extra few meters of stopping distance, there can be a situation where braking in a straight line might be a life-and-death situation. (Imagine swaying side-to-side on a ghat road when slamming your brakes trying to avoid that oncoming vehicle you spotted at the last moment).

ABS is not just about braking and stopping distances, its about vehicle stability in situations when you most need it.
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