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Old 4th July 2013, 05:03   #16
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Default Re: Safety offered by Indian Cars

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Originally Posted by EagleEye View Post
Regarding poor brakes and suspension, it goes without saying that critical components of car safety have to be in good condition at all times.
Absolutely right, worn dampers (shock absorbers) and other suspension parts make a massive difference to braking ability and a car's safety on the road. The point I was trying to make, though, was that well-designed suspension and brakes will work far better than the average.

Somewhere I linked to the results of an impromptu comparison test in Holland, where contemporary - modern - VWs were being tested by the police on an aircraft runway in 2002. One of those involved had happened to turn up in an ancient CitroŽn which had evolved during WW2. Someone thought it would be amusing to compare how things had advanced down the decades, so the little 2cv was included in the braking and swerving tests.

Much to everyone's surprise, it was the modern VWs which were shown up as the old technology bettered the new time and again. Which proves the point that neither the laws of Physics nor good engineering ever change.

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Originally Posted by EagleEye View Post
This is a very valid point. As an example I drive faster than I should on wet roads knowing that my car has ABS and ESP. But hopefully the speeds I'm doing don't fall into the 'unsafe' territory. That's just my point, actually - with safety technology you can drive more confidently, and if some idiot decides to jump in front of your car (which almost consistently happens on every single road in India), you are equipped to handle it with the least risk of accident.
One moment you say 'faster than I should', the next, 'confidently' and you attempt to assimilate the two. Don't think the ESP or ABS are capable of miracles - they certainly are not. It is frightening just how long it can take to stop in the wet, even with ABS.

People need to pay more attention to tyre condition and quality and keep in their heads that all there is to connect their powerful car with the road is four little contact patches, each about the size your palm.

Last edited by FlatOut : 4th July 2013 at 05:04.
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Old 4th July 2013, 09:42   #17
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Default Re: Safety offered by Indian Cars

Thanks for starting the thread Saket!

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Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
Indian roads see one of the highest numbers of road casualties in the world. Even in this sorry scenario, what is most shocking to see is that we, Indians, when on the lookout for new cars in the showroom or even while researching on the internet, tend to miss out the most important aspect related to ourselves: Our own safety!
When it comes to automobiles and related its regulations and awareness, weíre quite at infancy stage as a nation. Car companies are in a market to make profits, and they will look at cost saving measures within regulations set in that country/market. For example, in India you donít see a new car without seatbelts, but itís easy to see cars without ABS and Airbags. Reason Ė the latter is not governed or dictated by law. Thatís why in India you get to see budget spin-offs of already budget brands, and they become money-spinners in the name of VFM.

And more than anything else, the key safety aid in an automobile is the driver. The lack of strong driving regulations and real enforcement of available road safety rules, along with a big pool of inexperienced drivers on our poorly maintained roads with negligible traffic laws forms an ideal concoction for disaster.
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Old 4th July 2013, 10:45   #18
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Default Re: Safety offered by Indian Cars

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In India you don’t see a new car without seatbelts, but it’s easy to see cars without ABS and Airbags. Reason – the latter is not governed or dictated by law.
If the people are not concerned for their own safety, I think the Govt. should 'mandate' it. I will just quote one example:

In the year 2000, probably the beginning of the year, we were on a lookout for a new car. Those days MPFI technology was not available in the cars sold here, at least in the A & B segments (which we were considering). Daewoo's Matiz was an exception, but out of our consideration set.

When We walked to the Maruti showroom, we were in for a pleasant news. We were told to wait just a few days as Maruti is now introducing new MPFI tech in all cars with 4 valves per cylinder, which is going to be a game changer. We were then explained the benefits of MPFI over traditional carbs.

My last question to them was that how much the new 800 or the Zen is going to cost, to which they replied that they have not received the price list from the company, hence they cannot comment. We had made our mind that this MPFI tech introduction will cost a bomb to us as its such an advanced technology. However, I must also add that MPFI was not the result of people's desire or anything, but it was a MANDATE by the law to make all vehicles Euro-II compliant.
Later when we received the price quotations, we were pleasantly surprised. There was just a marginal increase in prices of all cars. I think, this was possible only because of economy of scales AND the manufacturers were forced to keep the prices low because of the threat of lower sales.

Why I quoted this story? Because, IMO, if airbags, ABS etc. all are mandated by the Govt., then the prices will not be what we see now. There will not be too much increase because of economy factor of large scale production. Moreover, due to competitive pricing & the price sensitive market of India, the manufacturers will be forced to keep the prices as low as possible so that their sales do not plummet against the competitors.

I think, its high time that the Govt. takes a step forward.

Regards,
Saket

Last edited by saket77 : 4th July 2013 at 10:47.
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Old 4th July 2013, 16:16   #19
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Default Re: Safety offered by Indian Cars

The team is only as strong as the weakest link.

In this case, the weakest link is the average Indian driver. No matter how many regulations and mandates the government brings in, they will not bring any benefit in the hands of an uneducated driver. All of us who are engaged on this thread are aware and realise that safety is not an option, it is for our own benefit. Once this mentality creeps in, spending the extra buck for safety equipment on a car will be as easy as spending the extra buck for that boom boom from the bass speaker.

My point is very simple, focus on strengthening the weakest link in this chain first. Make the average driver aware of the benefits and hazards of having and not having passive and active safety equipments in the car. An average Indian car driver has never heard of terms like crumple zones, seat belt pre-tensioners, SRS, whiplash injuries, braking distance, thinking and reaction distance etc.

A simple way to make the driver aware of safety is to mandate it to be taught in driving schools across the country. Of course, the practise of "buying" a driving license has to stop immediately if any progress has to be made in India related to road safety. It's just downright ridiculous to bribe and get a driving license without any proper training.
Next step, make it mandatory for car manufacturers to make safety related information available to prospective buyers. And as someone said before, it should be mandated for car manufacturers to offer safety equipment on all variants of their cars. Only when the consumer is aware, he will realise the importance of these equipments and demand them from the manufacturers. Shoving a safety kit down the throat of a buyer is not going to do any wonders. Imagine a car comes equipped with ABS and airbags made mandatory by the government, if either of the sensor develops a fault the system won't work when required. All that the driver will see is a ABS warning lamp on the dashboard. No PUC or other check in India will fail the car or make it necessary for the driver to get the fault fixed, unless he/she wants to. Best of all, the "Jugaadoo janta" will find a way to shut a buzzer or any annoying tell tales. I have seen tourist car drivers shutting of the passenger belt warning lamp by removing the fuse or snapping a wire

I am not aware what testing ARAI does on cars from a safety perspective, but if car manufacturers in India are claiming their cars to be NCAP 5 star compliant and selling an altered structure which will not pass a NCAP test with the claimed rating, that surely is immoral and probably even illegal.

A quick check to see if the structure is altered in a big way could be to compare the kerb weight of the same spec European model (I agree this method is not bullet proof). Take Hyundai i20 for example, I gave this a try and cannot find any information about the weight of the i20 in the Indian brochure.

Just to compare, have a look at the amount of information available on the Hyundai UK website in comparison to the Hyundai India website.

http://www.hyundai.co.uk/new-cars/i20

http://www.hyundai.com/in/en/Showroo...PIP/index.html

Same story with the brochures, the UK brochure for the same car is 21 pages containing detailed information and tables about every aspect of the car. The Indian brochure is 2 pages with colourful pictures and a table of key features.

Edit: I could find the weight of the 1.2 petrol Hyundai in the team BHP review. It says 1066 kgs. The UK brochure gives the weight as 1083 kgs for the same engine equipped car. Pretty much the same.

PS: I cannot find any mention of Hyundai i20 in India being Euro NCAP 5 star compliant on their website.

Last edited by dgupta : 4th July 2013 at 16:33. Reason: Kerb weight comparison of i20
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Old 4th July 2013, 16:47   #20
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Default Re: Safety offered by Indian Cars

The responsibility of safety first lies with the driver and then the rest.
Just relying on and blindly trusting tech gives a false sense of safety, and makes one approach scenarios very casually.

Driver education and training is the most essential for safety. Especially in India where any thing can happen any time. I used to tell my auto- enthusiast colleague on the other side of Atlantic, if you can drive in India, you can drive anywhere, because here you always drive expecting the unexpected to happen, whereas in the west, anything unexpected will result in a crash (more often than not), even with the car having state of art safety features because the driver approach to the scenario is very casual.

On a lighter note, imagine such a sensitive SRS/Airbag in bumper to bumper traffic in Bangalore.


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Old 4th July 2013, 18:15   #21
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Red face Re: Safety offered by Indian Cars

Aren't we spoiled by the car manufacturing leader of our country?

Maruti contributes to majority of the sales and most of maruti's sales account for the L and V variants. Most of us consider buying a car from maruti's stable for their excellent A.S.S. and their VFM. Paying those extra buck for the Z variants makes you even more secure.

Till date i fail to see Maruti promoting any of their Z variants. The recently launched Swift RS, cmmon! A sports variant with no safety features.
With TIN like bodies , IMO Maruti should be offering ABS and at least driver airbags standard on all variants.

If not the Govt. Manufacturers should take the initiative and educate people on how can safety features like ABS,Airbags,EBD etc be important.

Maruti , how about yourself setting an example for you latest initiative "lead the change"
Go ahead , make ABS and Airbags standard across all the variants.
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Old 4th July 2013, 18:24   #22
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Default Re: Safety offered by Indian Cars

Slightly OT

Personal heart-in-the-mouth situation I faced a couple of days ago when I was following a Scorpio in bumper-to-bumper traffic. The road was full of potholes and very uneven. The frightening thing happened when the Scorpio braked heard in front of me because of some obstacle and when I slammed hard the brakes, I got absolutely no response. It was horrifying for me as I almost rammed into the Scorpio, thanks to the road as the car had passed the obstacle. I don't know what the real reason was, but my instinct says that it was the ABS as I have never faced this situation despite driving a lot of non-ABS cars. This all happened at speeds <30KMPH, thankfully I was not on the highway. From then on, my trust on ABS has shaken completely off and I have stopped banking on it. As someone rightly said that having these features may make the driver a bit irresponsible. The safety features are good to have but its the one behind the wheels who needs to be aware and responsible. Having said that, we need a massive education as far as our traffic sense is concerned. No matter what vehicle we drive, we need to be patient and cautious.

And as far as making ABS and Airbags compulsory, if and when its done, the people will have no choice other than shelling out a couple of K's more. I don't think that should be a problem as we anyways have been buying diesels despite the incremental price rise every now and then. And we are still on the road, driving despite the petrol prices soaring.

PS: I was driving an i20. Please share with me if anyone else has faced the same situation
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Old 5th July 2013, 10:09   #23
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Default Re: Safety offered by Indian Cars

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Originally Posted by nemesis86 View Post
when I slammed hard the brakes, I got absolutely no response. It was horrifying for me as I almost rammed into the Scorpio,
ABS when used on surfaces where vehicles are more likely to skid like sandy tracks, wet roads, pebble roads, etc may take more distance to stop than normal brakes because the sensors feel the wheels locking & they let the brakes go little easy. Thus the braking distance sometimes increases. That might have been the case with you.

If the reason was not any of the above, I feel that you should get your brakes checked. Did the pedal became hard in operation, needing a lot of effort?
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Old 5th July 2013, 10:20   #24
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Default Re: Safety offered by Indian Cars

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Originally Posted by sinharishi View Post
Aren't we spoiled by the car manufacturing leader of our country?
...
...
...
Maruti , how about yourself setting an example for you latest initiative "lead the change"
Go ahead , make ABS and Airbags standard across all the variants.
You are expecting exactly opposite of MSIL's general philosophy. Remember the 1 part 1 gram initiative? Where they were/are promoting for all suppliers and in house parts to cut at least 1 gram per product on regular intervals, with "no compromise on quality & safety".

Quote:
Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
ABS when used on surfaces where vehicles are more likely to skid like sandy tracks, wet roads, pebble roads, etc may take more distance to stop than normal brakes because the sensors feel the wheels locking & they let the brakes go little easy. Thus the braking distance sometimes increases. That might have been the case with you.

If the reason was not any of the above, I feel that you should get your brakes checked. Did the pedal became hard in operation, needing a lot of effort?
Is it really so? Its a bit complicated to put it this straight. The ABS kicks in only when a lock possibility is sensed right? So if I apply brake on identical cars in identical situation, one with ABS, the other without -
1. Both will have same initial brake performance
2. When ABS sensors sense a lock situation, they will momentarily release the brake.
3. At that same instance, won't the non-ABS car with all other variables identical, lock its wheels thus loosing brake result / control?

So I don't exactly understand the rationale behind ABS car taking longer to stop than non ABS in non-skid scenario. I've infact experienced sudden braking in identical Vistas (Even colour ) , one with ABS and other without and I can confidently say that the ABS variant has equal if not better brake performance in normal braking. And absolute winner when it comes to emergency braking.

Last edited by Reinhard : 5th July 2013 at 10:26.
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Old 5th July 2013, 10:32   #25
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Originally Posted by Reinhard View Post
You are expecting exactly opposite of MSIL's general philosophy. Remember the 1 part 1 gram initiative? Where they were/are promoting for all suppliers and in house parts to cut at least 1 gram per product on regular intervals, with "no compromise on quality & safety".

Is it really so? Its a bit complicated to put it this straight. The ABS kicks in only when a lock possibility is sensed right? So if I apply brake on identical cars in identical situation, one with ABS, the other without -
1. Both will have same initial brake performance
2. When ABS sensors sense a lock situation, they will momentarily release the brake.
3. At that same instance, won't the non-ABS car with all other variables identical, lock its wheels thus loosing brake result / control?

So I don't exactly understand the rationale behind ABS car taking longer to stop than non ABS in non-skid scenario. I've infact experienced sudden braking in identical Vistas (Even colour ) , one with ABS and other without and I can confidently say that the ABS variant has equal if not better brake performance in normal braking. And absolute winner when it comes to emergency braking.
The non ABS car will only lock in slippery situations at high speed if you SLAM the brakes.if they dont lock, braking distance will be lesser than the car with ABS.
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Old 5th July 2013, 10:43   #26
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The non ABS car will only lock in slippery situations at high speed if you SLAM the brakes.if they dont lock, braking distance will be lesser than the car with ABS.
Thats my question. WHY will the braking distance of ABS car be more in "non slippery" situations compared to non ABS?

Also, slippery is a variable. Even on a perfectly dry asphalt road one may lock wheels due to various other factors like the tyre compound's grip properties, heat being generated in the brake discs and pressure applied by the brake during emergency braking. There are enough long and hard skid marks on a dry and sufficiently grippy NH4 that confirm this daily during my travel to office.
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Old 5th July 2013, 10:51   #27
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Originally Posted by Reinhard View Post
Thats my question. WHY will the braking distance of ABS car be more in "non slippery" situations compared to non ABS?
No doubt, ABS is a boon to have in emergencies, but probably this is the ONE disadvantage of having it.

A similar discussion has taken place here: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...on-thread.html (The ABS discussion thread)

Wikipedia also suggests that ABS may increase stopping distance.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-lo...#Effectiveness

Regards,
Saket

Last edited by saket77 : 5th July 2013 at 10:56.
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Old 5th July 2013, 11:01   #28
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So I don't exactly understand the rationale behind ABS car taking longer to stop than non ABS in non-skid scenario. I've infact experienced sudden braking in identical Vistas (Even colour ) , one with ABS and other without and I can confidently say that the ABS variant has equal if not better brake performance in normal braking. And absolute winner when it comes to emergency braking.
In high traction surfaces like tar roads and concrete ABS shortens brake distance and improves maneuverability. But in surfaces like gravel/loose mud ABS can significantly increase braking distance. In such surfaces locked wheels tend to dig in and produce more retarding force. As per the US National Highway Traffic Safety Safety Administration ABS increases braking distance on gravel by 27.2%.

There is rising chorus of making ABS and airbag mandatory. But this is an oversimplification. These are only secondary safety systems and can be hazardous in some situations. Many people do not really know how these systems work and form opinions based on what they read in popular media. Remember for companies manufacturing ABS/Airbags this is a multi-billion dollar business. There are vested interests involved. I believe an educated consumer should have the right to buy car without ABS and Airbag he/she so desires to.

I believe the major factors that influence road safety are as follows:

1. Infrastructure: By Infrastructure i mean the quality of roads/intersections even the speed breaker design and placement. The quality of policing. Enforcement of traffic rules etc.

2. Driver: His/her experience/skill level. Auto technology awareness. Safety awareness.( reaction times/ braking distance increase with speed etc ). Alertness/restedness of the driver.

3. Structural quality of the vehicle: Properly designed body structure of a vehicle can be tremendous safeguard in an accident. In vehicles with poor structural airbags are bigger hazard then without them. e.g. Look at this video of a scorpio crash tested.
The dummy makes contact with the airbag before it is fully inflates, which would cause a bigger injury to the driver had there been no airbags.

4. Seat belts: More important than airbag or abs or ESP etc etc.

5. Good tyres: Good quality tyres. Inflated to the correct pressure. Having enough tread and not too old.

6. Respecting the speed limit: If you drive at 150 kmph in India even in an S class you are not safe. Remmber if you rear end a truck with the bumper at the A pillar level your crumple zones wont work.

Last edited by JediKnight : 5th July 2013 at 11:19.
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Old 5th July 2013, 11:06   #29
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Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
ABS when used on surfaces where vehicles are more likely to skid like sandy tracks, wet roads, pebble roads, etc may take more distance to stop than normal brakes because the sensors feel the wheels locking & they let the brakes go little easy. Thus the braking distance sometimes increases. That might have been the case with you.

If the reason was not any of the above, I feel that you should get your brakes checked. Did the pedal became hard in operation, needing a lot of effort?
Yes, the pedal was astonishingly hard. I was going over very rough surface (potholes actually, the ones which run a few feet) and there very pretty big stones (not gravel) when I tried to brake. I do not know what the real reason was as I have experienced this in the past also with the same car, although not so notorious.
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Old 5th July 2013, 11:10   #30
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Originally Posted by JediKnight View Post
In high traction surfaces like tar roads and concrete ABS shortens brake distance and improves maneuverability. But in surfaces like gravel/loose mud ABS can significantly increase braking distance. In such surfaces locked wheels tend to dig in and produce more retarding force. As per the US National Highway Traffic Safety Safety Administration ABS increases braking distance on gravel by 27.2%.

There is rising chorus of making ABS and airbag mandatory. But this is an oversimplification. These are only secondary safety systems and can be hazardous in some situations. Many people do not really know how these systems work and form opinions based on what they read in popular media. I believe a consumer should have the right to buy car without ABS and Airbag he/she so desires to.

I believe the major factors that influence road safety are as follows:

1. Infrastructure: By Infrastructure i mean the quality of roads/intersections even the speed breaker design and placement. The quality of policing. Enforcement of traffic rules etc.

2. Driver: His/her experience level.
This might be my last post on this argument as otherwise I'll end up in the bad books of many fellows for being OT!

However, I'm comparing the braking distance between ABS car and non ABS car which has NOT locked wheels.
I am not at all considering the situation where the wheels are already locked. Yes they MAY give more traction & faster stop BUT, that will mostly be at the expense of vehicle control. We are talking about safety here & locked wheels of a moving vehicle are an unsafe scenario.

A skidding car can certainly fishtail / flip / ditch sideways. So no outright gain from the brakes stopping car faster.

I felt from the quotes earlier that ABS car takes longer than non ABS to stop in non-skid situations. Which I fail to understand why. And that was my question.

Secondly, the good infrastructure, driver sense etc. are now practically hypothetical things. At least I've stopped expecting any of the points you mentioned when I venture out driving. If all these were present, we won't even need bumpers for our cars. All these safety measures are required due to the "lack thereof" of the external safety factors that you mentioned.

Last edited by Reinhard : 5th July 2013 at 11:27.
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