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View Poll Results: Pick One
ABS 225 74.26%
Airbag 78 25.74%
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Old 23rd May 2014, 17:56   #76
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Default Re: ABS or Airbag: If you had to pick one?

While its an apple to orange comparison, I would opt for Airbags in my car.

ABS would definitely prevent an accident but that is only when one has space to maneuver elsewhere and also have ample time to react. I think folks here have overrated ABS as simply having ABS doesn't mean that you'd be able to avoid all collisions. Not to mention, having ABS doesn't prevent the car from turning turtle.

ABS with EBD, ESP, TCS/ASR, EDS is a different story though.

Why airbags, simply because I feel if I'm doing conservative speeds (which I exercise) then in most collisions airbags would be of immense help.
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Old 25th May 2014, 12:47   #77
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Default Re: ABS or Airbag: If you had to pick one?

I refuse to choose any one. Both are an absolute must.

From my software background, I see the accident as a 'risk'. The probability of that risk increases/decreases with various internal/external factors. Internal - driver experience, intoxication, sudden health issues. External - bad roads, other unruly drivers etc.

For an identified risk, it is mandatory to have both mitigation as well as contingency plan.

Mitigation is how I can avoid the risk (i.e an impending collision) by steering my way out of it. That's where ABS comes in.
When a risk materializes (i.e a collision has happened), I have to have a way to come out of that situation with least impact. That's contingency planning, and that's where airbags come in.

Critics welcome.
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Old 25th May 2014, 17:58   #78
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Default Re: ABS or Airbag: If you had to pick one?

First, it is really sad that most of us are made to choose one of these very important safety equipment s, rather than both. I really hope that one of the manufacturers bite the bullet and provide these 2 as standard in all their variants. At least the Government must make it mandatory for all 4 wheelers and above to have ABS. Rant Over.

Considering that most vehicles with airbags have only 2 of them, with no protection for the rear passengers, i would put my money on ABS.

Airbags in one of the cars, which met with an accident, in Chennai did not deploy, the reason, the occupants were not wearing seat belt. Sad.
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Old 26th May 2014, 22:14   #79
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Default Re: ABS or Airbag: If you had to pick one?

I'd choose airbags. ABS is meant mainly for slippery roads and/or hard-braking, both of which are mostly in our control. A vehicle coming in the opposite direction on to my lane is something that's out of my control; and no matter how hard I brake, an accident is almost a certainty. And here's where airbags can save your life.

And well, airbags is one feature in a car that no one would like to put to use. One would be happy if it stays dormant for the entire life of the car.
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Old 28th May 2014, 07:02   #80
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Default Re: ABS or Airbag: If you had to pick one?

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Originally Posted by sourabhzen View Post
I voted for ABS. I have faced situations a number of times when I wish I had ABS equipped car. As many of you have pointed out prevention is better than meeting an accident.
I am not sure but it does not sound right. One should not face that many situations where you will need ABS. You may want to slow down and maintain some distance unless you drive on a road with lot of strays (human, vehicles, dogs, cows you name it)
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Old 28th May 2014, 08:39   #81
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Originally Posted by acurafan View Post

I am not sure but it does not sound right. One should not face that many situations where you will need ABS. You may want to slow down and maintain some distance unless you drive on a road with lot of strays (human, vehicles, dogs, cows you name it)
I agree with you but wish our roads were that safe and was possible to be driven on without any anticipation, like eyes closed confident. We cannot guess what will happen the next moment while on the road.

Both ABS and Airbags are needed but I'll choose ABS here.

Anurag.
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Old 28th May 2014, 09:54   #82
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Default Re: ABS or Airbag: If you had to pick one?

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Originally Posted by acurafan View Post
I am not sure but it does not sound right. One should not face that many situations where you will need ABS. You may want to slow down and maintain some distance unless you drive on a road with lot of strays (human, vehicles, dogs, cows you name it)
Yes, I know. I have been driving for 19 years now and used to drive very fast in my initial years. Over the years I have understood that it actually does not make any difference in travelling time.

I had an accident around 8 years ago when I was driving at 70 kmph on a highway and a load carrying cycle rickshaw come on highway from nearby fields. The car skidded but did not stop before hitting the rickshaw. ABS might have prevented this.

Moreover, there are plenty of rash drivers (as I used to be) on roads and many such accidents may be prevented if the vehicles in India are equipped with ABS.
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Old 30th June 2014, 22:17   #83
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Default Re: ABS or Airbag: If you had to pick one?

Quite simply ABS it has to be and I am strongly saying this as a sad victim of a non ABS car accident, call it sudden braking of slamming brakes or typical driver habit because of other ABS equipped cars being my usual drive.

A possibly drunk mahindra commander pick up driver took a U turn on a 2 lane stretch of NH-17 highway in Mirjan, KA at 3:00 am (dark night) into a slight left hander, I saw this guy from a decent distance and I was doing a constant and safe 100 kmph in an attempt to reach Mangalore by day break.

I analysed I could slip by and overtake him as he was driving too slow and as I came closer suddenly this guy did some kind of start-stop, start-stop dance blocking the left side of the slightly downward slopping road completely, I had started braking and honking when I saw him stop first but then he started rolling and to my horror came to a dead stop again, to close for comfort, as if teasing me, being a curve with on coming Volvo buses it left me with little option but to brake hard though it was too late, I think I had about 20-22 mts of road remaining and banged into the pick-up bull bar head on at about 40 kmph, the bonnet which took the impact folded like a piece of paper, damaging the radiator, condenser, and air-intake manifold.

Now I am not claiming I am great driver but believe I am adequately skilled and have decent judgement to pull out of most situations thrown at me as I have driven about 2.5 L Kms across India without any major incidents.

No one expects the car if front of you not to have brake lights and stop all of a sudden without warning in the middle of a two lane road, I wish I was driving a truck as I would have moved him down.

Two things I wished for then was ABS and a good camera phone as I wanted to click a snap of the fleeing car, my Nokia hung up those precious seconds.

Yes the very fact he ran away clearly proves he was at fault as the driver who rear ends you is always considered the one wrong in India.

I have been in many similar situations in the ABS Fabia and it has always stopped clean in close encounters, ironically all such cases I can relate to were in KA which makes me and my friends believe KA has absolute morons driving these pick ups.

Point is ABS would have saved me a lakh plus (sadly) in repair bills and an initial premium of 30k would today be totally worth it. The damage is mainly to the bonnet but a lot of nearby parts have got misaligned like head lights broken clamps or loose bumper, I shall load pictures to show the damage.

I knew I was always safe as I was not over speeding but the car would not stop in time as the wheels locked and it slid towards this unfortunate result.

The City ZX though an excellent car does not have the safety feeling or heaviness of a Sonata or Fabia, my other drives and never came with ABS though even today if I can retro fit it I would want to.

First comes preventing the accident, though I allot great importance to airbags, most of us drive in the region of 100 kmph in India and in sudden situations like some moron biker crossing the road or some buffalo running across, only ABS helps.

If you hurtle down a cliff or bang at 80 kmph after slowing down from 140 kmph or dont use brakes at all then don't think twice, only Airbags can save you but for everything else panic braking, rain braking etc, it is ABS, ABS, ABS.

Last edited by s_pphilip : 30th June 2014 at 22:30. Reason: ABS importance
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Old 1st July 2014, 01:29   #84
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Default Re: ABS or Airbag: If you had to pick one?

Maybe I am posting on the wrong thread, maybe I'll check for ABS threads, but I also want to understand whether switching between an ABS and non-ABS car can affect how effectively you brake on a non-ABS car as instinctively we slam the brakes as a habit developed driving a ABS car.
Also if the wheels lock on dry tarmac, my belief is it adversely affects braking distances or efficiency, wheel lock does not reduce speeds as effectively as a wheel braked at optimum braking (rolling at the maximum braking, avoiding lock up).
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Old 1st July 2014, 16:40   #85
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Default Re: ABS or Airbag: If you had to pick one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by s_pphilip View Post
... 3:00 am (dark night) into a slight left hander, I saw this guy from a decent distance and I was doing a constant and safe 100 kmph ... I analysed I could slip by and overtake him as he was driving too slow and as I came closer suddenly this guy did some kind of start-stop, start-stop dance ... Two things I wished for then was ABS and a good camera phone ... I knew I was always safe as I was not over speeding but the car would not stop in time as the wheels locked and it slid towards this unfortunate result. ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by s_pphilip View Post
... I also want to understand whether switching between an ABS and non-ABS car can affect how effectively you brake on a non-ABS car as instinctively we slam the brakes as a habit developed driving a ABS car.
Also if the wheels lock on dry tarmac, my belief is it adversely affects braking distances or efficiency, wheel lock does not reduce speeds as effectively as a wheel braked at optimum braking (rolling at the maximum braking, avoiding lock up).
Strange assumption - "all that I do is right"! I admire your candidness, though.

1. The time of the accident (0300) is the time of least attentiveness of anyone used to a 11PM-6AM sleep cycle. That you were on top of things is a bad assumption; ditto for the other person

2. "I knew I was always safe as I was not over speeding" - and you were going down-slope on a curving road at 100Kmph? What was the recommended speed limit on that stretch (doesn't matter if you totally disagree with it)?

3. "I wished for then was ABS", "wheels locked and it slid towards ..." - are you of the opinion that ABS gives license for unwise / insensible driving? Do you believe ABS would have made you avoid this accident? My friend, ABS only enables you to change direction. In this case, you probably would have gone and hit something else - you were beyond the safe speed for the situation

4. The issue is not of "switching between an ABS and non-ABS car" - you are only delegating (abdicating?) the responsibility of 'accident avoidance' to a system that is totally unaware of road conditions and impending situation. This is the responsibility of the *driver*, not of the ABS system

5. "We slam the brakes as a habit developed driving a ABS car" is a bad excuse for deficient driving discipline
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Old 1st July 2014, 20:09   #86
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Default Re: ABS or Airbag: If you had to pick one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
Strange assumption - "all that I do is right"! I admire your candidness, though.
Thanks DerAlte, I have been thinking over this for a while as I felt very bad and wish I could go back in time, you are correct, I was over confident on that two lane stretch carrying greater speed, I accept the blame, but what confuses me is I have been on the same roads at higher speeds, of course in better cars with ABS, which is why I consciously restricted the speed in the City to 100 kmph throughout, 100 kmph always felt manageable and safe, of course I now know I was wrong. Its not that I was advocating I was correct with my speed in the previous post, its my judgement of the scenario that was totally wrong. I apologize if I didn't word it correctly.

I also agree the first instance I saw the fellow in front come to a halt I should have applied more caution, I in fact I became alert and applied brakes initially from a distance and then again got casual and pressed the accelerator when he started rolling but he stopped dead in the middle of the road again, by then I was too close.

80% of my interstate driving has always been in the night because I can cover the distance quicker, I was trying to get from Goa to Mangalore by day break and I have covered that distance several times, again maybe all those times I was lucky, I never had some body doing this start-stop, start-stop dance in all my journeys, with an on coming bus on high beam in the parallel track that very moment, leaving me no road to drive on. The road was visible for a distance as this was a gentle slope and a mild curve, not a hairpin. I calculated I could slip by once the bus sped past not accounting that the moron would come to a dead stop with out brake lights, when I was on his tail.

The problem is it is very difficult to decide the correct speed in India as even 40 kmph can result in an accident, and if we have to cover greater distances we have to always end up doing some calculated driving, which we think is safe enough, in my case it back fired. I wish I was slower on that stretch. Of course till 30 seconds before the accident happened everything was in control despite all the surprises the road sprung up earlier in the form of two wheelers sudden U turns, trucks, tractors etc.

I drive according to the road and on the National Highway I do 80-100 kmph, whereas the E-way I do about 120 kmph, (Gujrat E-way-130/140kmph) and while crossing towns about 60-80 kmph, of course depends on the car as well.
I want to drive safe but even if I choose to keep safe distance the slow moving traffic holds me up which is why I overtake and let go, in India public transport does not give way to a vehicle which is doing a better speed (not driven rashly).

Why I felt with the ABS it could do better is on one of my earlier drives in KA at about 11 pm on a blind curve there was this fellow with a Tata Ace or some thing, lying on the road fixing the wheel, just after the apex, where I would be driving in a second, the Fabia ABS stopped immediately, I was doing about 80 kmph then. Here the City seemed to loose its ability to cut down speed and it started sliding and I could instantly feel the difference between the Fabia and the City which is why I felt ABS would help me avoid the accident.

I read on T-BHP about threshold breaking, I slammed the brakes, that made the difference, though the City crumpled in the front, (mainly cosmetic damage) I didn't feel the jerk, maybe because I saw it coming.

Well I shall train myself on the art of defensive driving which I admit I am weak at.

Last edited by s_pphilip : 1st July 2014 at 20:31.
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Old 22nd July 2014, 21:30   #87
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Default Re: ABS or Airbag: If you had to pick one?

At the risk of going completely off-topic from what this thread is for, just wanted to add thinking this is significant, though I did engineering and have been driving for so many years and reading about automobiles since birth, I never absorbed or dwelled upon this piece of calculation and present it here.

Since I am very upset with this crash I was just doing some calculations, I realized at 80-90 kmph, I am doing about 22-25 meters per second, which means when we have about 2-3 seconds to react, it completely boils down to how lucky you get.

This makes sense as the Mahindra guy must have come to a random stop in the middle of the road about 30-40 meters from me giving me 2-4 seconds to react. If he were to drive at 25 kmph, he would go further by 7 meters in a second, giving me enough room to stop, let me remind this pick up didn't have brake lights, so I must have wasted a second to analyze.

Also at flaw is my driving style of slipping past slower cars, using the existing momentum, this theory works fine when all are moving, if the one in front stops, then the whole calculation goes for a toss.

Well bottom line, very expensive accident for me to relearn basics, but if it helps me avoid another for my entire life, it is a valuable learning.

I didn't play my part well in avoiding this accident, I don't know what should be done to make others realize the roads aren't a playground but I can withdraw from any argument and drive slow which at least saves my money.

For instance today while driving to work at 50 kmph on a free stretch of road, there is this heavy duty earth moving equipment that slowly drifts to the wrong side onto my lane, I crawl besides him driving to the extreme left of the road and lower my window prepared to give him a piece of my mind (I am really upset about road misuse after my accident), I am shocked when a guy sitting on the bonnet or something in front of the single driver cabin yells at me about "being blind'', defensively I shrug and shout back, "its you in the middle, not me", he points out to somebody sitting behind the driver's cabin on the vehicle body, who is barely visible due to the angle of elevation, apparently he is the guy signalling out to vehicles following, I raise my window and drive off, no point talking about responsible driving to these guys when they do not want to accept their mistake in the first place, I would waste my time and energy in getting nothing.

Phew, when will we see better driving discipline in India, one with accountability.
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Old 22nd July 2014, 23:40   #88
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Default Re: ABS or Airbag: If you had to pick one?

Also my friend said I should I have dropped the gear to 2nd or 1st and released the clutch, the car would stop immediately, though I am not sure whether I could go through that process in those 2-3 seconds, I have never trained or practiced on this front.

Driving in India is like a sharing the road with hostile elements, its a war zone out there and you are constantly ducking, tucking, diving to avoid all other projectiles.

I don't drive worrying about time, fuel or distance, I drive to enjoy the drive each time, every time and sometimes I get carried away, need to exercise restraint. On a side note I was doing some rough calculations on my fuel expenses for last FY, it amounted to about 1.4 L, that's about 40k kms a year. I just love to drive, I live to drive. But with all these constraints, I think I will limit to essential driving.

Last edited by s_pphilip : 23rd July 2014 at 00:00.
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Old 15th September 2014, 11:54   #89
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Default Re: ABS or Airbag: If you had to pick one?

Hi Guys,

Firstly i hope iam posting this in the right thread, if not kindly guide me so that i can post it in the appropriate place. Here's the issue. Iam hoping to buy a new car. The issue is between choosing out of 3 brands and ones having ABS and Airbags. First choice is Swift ZXI, Second choice is Dzire VXI (W/O ABS and Air Bags ) or Sail UVA LT with ABS and AIRBAGS. Within my budget these cars are best fit. Not sure of the others.

I would like a suggestion on if its an absolute must to have ABS and AIRBAGS. I have been reading this thread and quite a few diverse views at hand.

Regards,
Devyaani.
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Old 15th September 2014, 12:32   #90
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Default Re: ABS or Airbag: If you had to pick one?

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Originally Posted by devyaaniverma View Post
Hi Guys,

Firstly i hope iam posting this in the right thread, if not kindly guide me so that i can post it in the appropriate place. Here's the issue. Iam hoping to buy a new car. The issue is between choosing out of 3 brands and ones having ABS and Airbags. First choice is Swift ZXI, Second choice is Dzire VXI (W/O ABS and Air Bags ) or Sail UVA LT with ABS and AIRBAGS. Within my budget these cars are best fit. Not sure of the others.

I would like a suggestion on if its an absolute must to have ABS and AIRBAGS. I have been reading this thread and quite a few diverse views at hand.

Regards,
Devyaani.
Hello Devyaani,

First of all congrats for your soon to be purchased car. I am glad that you posted this before making a concrete decision. As long as the recent past is concerned, we have lots of cars still plying on road from all brands without the ABS & Airbags. But with increase in traffic & rash drivers, it is time that we consider safer cars when going for a new car. This should be more so considered because your new car will be at least with you for 5-7 years. In my case, at least a decade. So, better to get a car with safety features built in. I, along with most TBHP members would strongly advice to go for a car with ABS & Airbags as minimum safety features. So, strike off that VXi from the list. The Swift D'zire ZXi has better brakes (than LX/VX) and has ABS & Airbags. The car has also been rated 5 stars for safety. Though the Indian version may be little different, but nevertheless, will be much better compared to cars without these safety equipment. I do not know the rating of the Sail UVA, but the D'zire is a good all round car, plus a compact sedan. Maruti cars are known for long term reliability and ease of ownership, hence for me, it should be the car of choice.

So, whatever car you chose, go for the variant with ABS+ Airbags. It will always be more than worth the money you pay.

Regards,
Saket
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