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Old 3rd March 2014, 13:37   #106
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Default Re: Safety offered by Indian Cars

This is a topic I wanted to write about for a long time and this thread seems to be ideal for it. What I am about to write is specific for India and Indians, for our roads are never quite empty.. there is always a jaywalker, a criss-crossing motorbike or a bus that decides to change 2 lanes in an instant when we least expect it.

For short drives of under 50km a driver may be alert and can hold his full attention on the road, i.e if the driver was trained properly in the first instance. Vehicle safety has 2 aspects - driver assistance systems & passive safety which will be elaborated below.

-D.A.S : Basically this means anything that keeps the drivers focus on the road and hands on the steering. While all such features are written off as bells and whistles or "superfluous", bluetooth streaming, auto foldable wing mirrors, auto/manual dimming mirrors, parking sensors, electric adjust mirrors all make it easier for the driver to keep his focus on the roads. There have been more than a dozen times I've seen drivers of big cars (MUV's/sedans) holding even bigger tab phones when driving, clogging an entire lane behind them because the call is apparently more important. Similarly parking sensors+camera aid quick parking without having to peek out and a block a lane for longer. Dimming mirrors are very important for night driving. All the above features combined with driver alertness is very important. Another precaution a driver must take is to keep music at medium level so that every honk/engine revving sound of other vehicles are heard.. I do this because to me driving is not only keeping eyes all around but the ears as well. EagleEye and FlatOut both have made valid points.

-Passive Safety : This goes far beyond slapping on the ABS & SRS which are the only 2 things most consumers know of. It is a symbiotic science which results in research specific to a car design and weight and shall vary from car to car. Let me take for example 2 cars, one with a very heavy 6-cyl diesel engine and one a normal 4 cyl petrol engined car.
a) Diesel car : Heavy duty hydraulic engine mounts, rigid shock-absorbers to handle the weight, incorporating fuel tank more towards the boot to counterbalance weight to enable better handling, bigger brake discs, ceramic brake pads to absorb the heat of friction and better stoppage. Last but not least steel beams to reinforce the front and sides. More usage of lighter high tensile aluminium/carbon fibre to boost economy.
b) Petrol car : As the engine is much lighter here the emphasis goes into using more steel safety beams for the body shell and saving cost by not using aluminium which is 7x more expensive. Due to lower weight medium spec brakes and platform setup is adequate. The heavier weight of steel beams will not compromise economy as the overall weight is low.

Whether we like it or not vehicle manufacturing is a business, so companies will increasingly think of fuel economy/D.A.S technologies to boost sales. That is no excuse but it is no secret that safety and economy aren't exactly complimentary to each other. So if uncompromised safety is the need of the hour, so must be a compromised bank balance. As the law of demand dictates, if consumers want safety- show it by buying.
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Old 3rd March 2014, 15:31   #107
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Default Re: Safety offered by Indian Cars

Quote:
Originally Posted by dark.knight View Post
-D.A.S : Basically this means anything that keeps the drivers focus on the road and hands on the steering. While all such features are written off as bells and whistles or "superfluous", bluetooth streaming, auto foldable wing mirrors, auto/manual dimming mirrors, parking sensors, electric adjust mirrors all make it easier for the driver to keep his focus on the roads. There have been more than a dozen times I've seen drivers of big cars (MUV's/sedans) holding even bigger tab phones when driving, clogging an entire lane behind them because the call is apparently more important. Similarly parking sensors+camera aid quick parking without having to peek out and a block a lane for longer. Dimming mirrors are very important for night driving. All the above features combined with driver alertness is very important. Another precaution a driver must take is to keep music at medium level so that every honk/engine revving sound of other vehicles are heard.. I do this because to me driving is not only keeping eyes all around but the ears as well. EagleEye and FlatOut both have made valid points.
...
My thought process is:
All the driver assist systems listed above can be added from the after market as and when money becomes available. But ABS/Airbags/ESP etc. cannot be added from the after market.
So should the automakers not give us the option to buy the safest car possible within our budgets and then let us add the conveniences we need later?
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Old 3rd March 2014, 22:22   #108
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Originally Posted by nd4$pd View Post

My thought process is:
All the driver assist systems listed above can be added from the after market as and when money becomes available. But ABS/Airbags/ESP etc. cannot be added from the after market.
So should the automakers not give us the option to buy the safest car possible within our budgets and then let us add the conveniences we need later?
All variants to be fit compulsory with all day features and the beautifying add-on can be optional. Would be nice if we see such change.

Anurag.
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Old 8th April 2014, 16:48   #109
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Default Re: Safety offered by Indian Cars

Hey Guys,
I had a question on car safety that may apply to this thread. I am wondering how safety ratings compare over the years. This becomes especially important when buying a used car.

For example, I recently bought a used 2006 Elantra that I believe had a 5 star rating in 2005-06. How does that rating compare to the present day? Is there any way to quantify this rating?

Thanks,
Muts
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Old 24th July 2014, 05:28   #110
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Default Re: Safety offered by Indian Cars

An interesting article from TOI

Source link: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/b...w/38939948.cms
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Old 24th July 2014, 08:35   #111
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Read somewhere recently about how these so called expensive features such as ABS, Airbags, etc. are very cheap when the law says its mandatory. In countries where the law does not speak about it, they become very expensive. That is good for the car companies. But why can't this be made mandatory by our country given the rising no. of road accidents every day? Why are most of these important safety features left to the manufacturer to project as a thing of luxury provided at a very high premium to the end consumer. One cannot say it is to make the car cheaper because they are not that expensive in countries where they are mandatory. Who is going to initiate this change?
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Old 16th November 2014, 11:44   #112
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Default Re: Safety offered by Indian Cars

are cars made in India gone through any safety measurements.


recently i had a bad accident. in my new grand i10.

a tavera lost control and hit my car from behind. a renault scala was in front of me and i hit that car because of the force from behind, the bonnet of the tavera was damaged badly and looks more severe like it had hit another bus, and the renault scala bumper fell apart and boot slightly bend.now any one hearing this can imagine what would be the shape of my car by now. but you are wrong, my car thanks to god, and may be hyundai there was absolutely no damage, the boot had a small dent and could not be locked. front was absolutely undamaged.

now are the cars that hit me way too poor in quality that with a such a small impact this was the outcome.

or is it that hyundai has better built or uses better quality bumper plastics etc, no one knows.

cant the automobile association start specifying the gauage and thickness of materials to be used.

there should be a body for Indian Road Crash Test, where they test cars on impact and how well they feature. such test will become global standards in crash safety to the extend that, if it can get a 5star Indian Road Safety rating you are on top level safe car. uncomparable to euro safety etc.
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Old 16th February 2015, 17:08   #113
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Default Re: Safety offered by Indian Cars

Posting in this thread after a long time but I hope this information will be helpful for someone looking for a safer car in budget.
Please have a look at the comparative table below:

Safety offered by Indian Cars-untitled.jpg

In the process of selecting a hatchback/ Compact Sedan for my elder sister and my Brother-in-Law within a budget of about 6L (on road), I insisted that they should go for a variant with ABS & at least 2 airbags. Since this would be their first car (hence they have very elementary knowledge), priority was to select cars which would offer a fuss-free ownership (shortlisting is strictly in my opinion).

But I was very disappointed due to manufacturer's ridiculous policy of clubbing safety with luxury (read: airbags available mostly on top variants only). The average price difference of top-most and base models of all shortlisted cars combined is about 1.22 Lacs - which in turn is severely limiting the choice.

Due to this, cars which are otherwise costing around 5 lacs are being pushed well over 7 lacs (eg. Maruti Swift), which is both ridiculous and frustrating. The bottom line is that safety is a luxury in this country. You deserve to be alive only if you can afford chrome door handles, push button start, keyless entry and alloy wheels..

As a welcome move, Toyota Liva & VW Polo do offer Airbags & ABS on all variants. Although, VW Polo was not shortlisted but still full marks to them for this move.

It is high time that we send a strong message to the manufacturers to bring this practice to an end. It is high time that the manufacturers go hiding behind the price hike excuse even though they have hiked the price multiple times on various accounts. The thing is - we can afford safer cars but not manufacturer's greed.

Disclaimer: No Affiliations.

PS: Please let me know or ping the mods if there is any discrepancy in the report compiled. Also, I am open for suggestions on a safe car in the price bracket to 5-6L, on road.

Thanks.

Edit: All prices taken from respective websites of manufacturers. If price NA on manufacturer's website, it has been obtained from CarDekho.com

Last edited by saket77 : 16th February 2015 at 17:10.
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Old 24th March 2015, 14:58   #114
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Default Global NCAP, airbags, and the Republic of India.

Looking at Anushka Sharma stretch her legs on the dash of a Fortuner in the movie NH 10, I was reminded of witnessing from a DTC a pair of svelte fair legs resting on the dash of an Endeavour, right next to the marking "SRS AIRBAGS". Thinking of the hullabaloo being created about car safety, and the stress being put on airbags, I have decided to start this thread. The points of the discussion are listed as under:
  1. I completely agree that safety must be stressed upon, for even USA needed Ralph Nader to wake it out of it's apathy. But the quest for safety should take local conditions into account. ANY car, no matter how unsafe, is safer than a two wheeler. And on this issue I completely agree with Shri Ratan Tata and Shri R C Bhargava that adding more safety gear to the cheapest vehicles will actually expose more people to unsafe transportation by 2 wheelers.
  2. Having said that, there is no excuse to ignore safety in vehicles even one segment above. If the same model exported to Europe is being built to a different standard than the one sold locally, that speaks volumes about the company's ethical standards. It also got me thinking of the I20 which used to wear its 5 star safety rating on the rear windscreen, till cars from the same company failed the test in their "Made FOR India" avatar (not many even wears seatbelts outside the metros, but to claim 5 star safety while making a substandard product is cheating).
  3. On the issue of safety, the focus on airbags is rather disturbing. The first line of defence is good dynamics, good brakes and other small things like headlights, glass, dash reflections and wipers. These go a long way to prevent an accident from taking place. A valuable addition would be ABS, and maybe ESP. If an accident is to happen, a strong body shell, along with well designed crumple zones, collapsible steering column and seatbelts are the next line of defence. Then come airbags.
  4. Airbags come with their own risks: the recent Takata recall http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/n...call/index.htm and the previously documented risks of badly developed airbags to passengers, esp. children and small females. I remember watching a documentary of a small girl killed in a minor accident in the US due to airbag deployment in the 80s- one of the many small sized people killed in that manner.
Personally, what will I prefer in my car for safety? In the order of preference given resource constraints-
  1. Good seatbelts
  2. Good structure: Strong passenger cabin and crumple zones, a collapsible steering column.
  3. ABS
  4. ESP
I am assuming that things like braking power, lights, etc. will be provided.

I would stay clear of airbags, simply because I don't like to have explosive charges staring at me in the face. Lets face it- race and rally cars don't have airbags. They don't even have retractable seatbelts- only fixed seatbelts and a rollcage. I've always felt that the manual seatbelts of my inexpensive 800, though uncomfortable, are a lot safer than the retractable types: the sheer simplicity make the question of failure non existent.

One more link: http://jalopnik.com/police-thought-womans-takata-airbag-death-was-a-homicid-1648872516.

Most interestingly, high humidity is said to have caused the airbags to behave like shotguns. Wonder how many such incidents have already happened in India.

I'd like to have the views of people on both sides of the fence populating this forum- consumers as well as people working in the automobile industry- on this issue. What should, in your opinion, be the path to create safer automobiles, given the unique conditions of our country?

Thanks in advance.

@Moderators: Kindly place in in the right forum in case the present one is inappropriate.

Last edited by fighterace : 24th March 2015 at 14:59.
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Old 24th March 2015, 15:31   #115
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Default Re: Global NCAP, airbags, and the Republic of India.

Very interesting points, and very much something that will be debated.

My one point to add:

The incidence of burns following airbag deployment has been noted at 1.53%. Burns from airbag injuries may be thermal, chemical, or frictional.

Other associated injuries include upper extremity fractures, eye injuries, erythema, skin abrasions. The most common form of injury is abrasion (63.6%).

http://www.akademikaciltip.com/sayil...225%202282.pdf
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Old 24th March 2015, 15:58   #116
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Default Re: Global NCAP, airbags, and the Republic of India.

Just one point IIRC Maruti 800 had retractable seat belts and not fixed.
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Old 24th March 2015, 17:06   #117
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Default Global NCAP, airbags, and the Republic of India.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fighterace View Post

I would stay clear of airbags, simply because I don't like to have explosive charges staring at me in the face. Lets face it- race and rally cars don't have airbags. They don't even have retractable seatbelts- only fixed seatbelts and a rollcage. I've always felt that the manual seatbelts of my inexpensive 800, though uncomfortable, are a lot safer than the retractable types: the sheer simplicity make the question of failure non existent

.


Its all about statistics. The combination of safety belts and airbags has saved the lives of tens of thousands of drivers and passengers around the world. Even the current quality issues with some airbags cant change that number.



Retractable seatbelts are better as they stay tight on you, typically much tighter then you would be able to fix your fix belt. That is also the difference with racing cars, those drivers get strapped in real tight, so their body cant move at all. It is rare for retractable seatbelts to malfunction. Again, go by statistics. The chances of it working are many, many times the chance of it not working.



Your choice, but I would go with the statistics rather then thinking you can come up with something safer yourself then the collective automotive industry



Jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 24th March 2015 at 17:14.
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Old 24th March 2015, 21:26   #118
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Default Re: Global NCAP, airbags, and the Republic of India.

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Originally Posted by fighterace View Post
[*]Having said that, there is no excuse to ignore safety in vehicles even one segment above. If the same model exported to Europe is being built to a different standard than the one sold locally, that speaks volumes about the company's ethical standards.
Ethics is an issue when you promise something and deliver something else or you flout the rules to gain some benefit.

I do not see an ethical dilemma in selling cars the way they do in India (referring to lack of safety features). If the Indian laws allow it, and the public buys it, they will sell it. The law should be stricter here for any change to happen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fighterace View Post
I would stay clear of airbags, simply because I don't like to have explosive charges staring at me in the face. Lets face it- race and rally cars don't have airbags. They don't even have retractable seatbelts- only fixed seatbelts and a rollcage.
As pointed out by Jeroen, racing drivers are really tightly 'packed' into their specially moulded racing seats. And they have 5/6 point seat belts which make sure that the entire torso is basically bolted into the seat. I can tell you from personal experience that the belts are usually so tight that it is difficult to even breathe deeply when you are in the pits. Once the car starts moving, the forces adjust them a bit and you can breathe better.
For neck protection, they have a HANS (Head And Neck reStraint) system which ensures that they do not suffer neck injuries.

In normal cars, one cannot expect to have 5-6 point harness which requires time and effort to tighten. Also, one does not wear a helmet and a HANS. Seat-belts with pre-tensioners pull the occupant back into the seat in case of an accident and only AFTER that the airbags are deployed. The sole function of the airbag is to ensure that your neck does not snap. So, seat belts and airbags provide 2 completely different types of safety nets and both are important.
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Old 24th March 2015, 22:02   #119
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Default Re: Global NCAP, airbags, and the Republic of India.

Also airbags are now designed in such a way that it wont deploy unless you have your seat belts on read 'the driver has it on in most cars'. The accidents which have happened as passengers I believe is because the driver had it on but not the passenger, and the air bag blew on their face. Airbags are thus called 'SRS' in modern cars which is Supplemental Restraint System. It will only be effective along with the seat belts.

Last edited by Altocumulus : 24th March 2015 at 22:06.
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Old 25th March 2015, 19:08   #120
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Default Re: Safety offered by Indian Cars

Quote:
Originally Posted by amitk26 View Post
Just one point IIRC Maruti 800 had retractable seat belts and not fixed.
The 1999 std models came with manual seatbelts for some time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
Its all about statistics. The combination of safety belts and airbags has saved the lives of tens of thousands of drivers and passengers around the world. Even the current quality issues with some airbags cant change that number.



Retractable seatbelts are better as they stay tight on you, typically much tighter then you would be able to fix your fix belt. That is also the difference with racing cars, those drivers get strapped in real tight, so their body cant move at all. It is rare for retractable seatbelts to malfunction. Again, go by statistics. The chances of it working are many, many times the chance of it not working.

...

Jeroen
I agree to your point about statistics and the resulting probabilities, but airbags are also the only safety devices which have killed people in situations which were perfectly survivable. Hence my concern. Also, we are a resource poor country. Given the emphasis being put on airbags, are we not neglecting certain more basic precautionary measures which will be more cost effective? And also, will an airbag in a weak bodyshell like the Alto's be a lifesaver or a killer?

As for the seatbelts, perhaps I went overboard. Being an engineer you will know better. It's just that the time taken for the mechanism to act, it's efficacy- and how it changes with age- bothers me. I had read somewhere that when buying a used car see how fast the belts snap back on release- a loose retraction shows long use. So does the mechanism deteriorate with age? In that case we should service and replace them when needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jalsa777 View Post
Ethics is an issue when you promise something and deliver something else or you flout the rules to gain some benefit.

I do not see an ethical dilemma in selling cars the way they do in India (referring to lack of safety features). If the Indian laws allow it, and the public buys it, they will sell it. The law should be stricter here for any change to happen.
Then why did Hyundai put 5 Star NCAP safety stickers on their Indian cars?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jalsa777 View Post
As pointed out by Jeroen, racing drivers ...
For neck protection, they have a HANS (Head And Neck reStraint) system which ensures that they do not suffer neck injuries.

In normal cars, one cannot expect to have 5-6 point harness which requires time and effort to tighten. Also, one does not wear a helmet and a HANS. Seat-belts with pre-tensioners pull the occupant back into the seat in case of an accident and only AFTER that the airbags are deployed. The sole function of the airbag is to ensure that your neck does not snap. So, seat belts and airbags provide 2 completely different types of safety nets and both are important.
I agree partially. Airbags w/o seatbelts are a threat. However, the tree point seat belt predates the airbag by at least a decade, and is still considered to be the most important safety device introduced in automobiles. So while airbags need seatbelts to do their job, the converse is not true. In the US, hastily developed airbags have been proven to kill people- and I am afraid something similar may happen in India. Also, given our unique and varied climatic conditions, what are the chances of a Takata like situation happening here? And, answer honestly, what is the probability of it being redressed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Altocumulus View Post
Also airbags are now designed in such a way that it wont deploy unless you have your seat belts on read 'the driver has it on in most cars'. The accidents which have happened as passengers I believe is because the driver had it on but not the passenger, and the air bag blew on their face. Airbags are thus called 'SRS' in modern cars which is Supplemental Restraint System. It will only be effective along with the seat belts.
I agree. In fact, the system should be such that the car shouldn't MOVE unless every occupant has buckled up, and even if it does, should create a racket in the cabin.
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