Team-BHP > Road Safety


View Poll Results: Are Indian hatchbacks even safe for cities?
Yes 21 23.86%
No 50 56.82%
Can't say 17 19.32%
Voters: 88. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 28th May 2017, 01:57   #16
Senior - BHPian
 
motorworks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,561
Thanked: 2,757 Times
Default City cars, what about safety?

People don't realise the importance of safety features as yet. In my apartment society, where apartments can cost 90lakhs+, the most preferred variants are the mid variants of almost all cars which lack any safety equipment.

My personal experience, way back in 2008 I bought a Dzire VDi and held it for 4 years. In those 4 years I realised the importance of ABS during some
Scary incidents, fortunately nothing serious, so I made up my mind that the next car should have the basic safety features, at least ABS and airbags. When the time came to switch cars, I opted for a Rapid with ABS and driver airbag since there was no option of a passenger airbag in the ambition variant way back in 2012. Of course, I would have preferred to have other safety features as well, but during that time period there weren't many cars offering even these basics.

Similarly when we wanted to change our 2nd car from an alto, the first choice for a city run about were cars like Eon, Beat etc. But none of them offered any safety features with the exception of their top trim which was very ridiculously priced. I somehow had made up my mind that the car had to have basic safety features, so I let go off the idea of a new car and settled for a sparingly used Brio which had ABS and Dual airbags. Most people around me were suggesting that I should buy a new one instead of an old one for the same price, but i was quite sure what I wanted. And till date I remain happy that my wife and kid travel in a car that is fairly safe!

Last edited by motorworks : 28th May 2017 at 02:00.
motorworks is offline   (5) Thanks
Old 28th May 2017, 19:39   #17
BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Panchkula
Posts: 77
Thanked: 94 Times
Default re: City cars: What about safety?

Interesting and informative discussion so far. Whereas the focus points have been highlighted the emphasis also needs to be shifted to awareness and Government initiatives and action. To begin with lets not just talk about hatchbacks alone though I do admit that this is the hottest selling segment in cars. It needs to be brought out that to-days hatch owner was a biker earlier and probably would be owning a sedan or/and SUV in future as he/she progresses in life and profession. Car manufacturers are smart enough to understand this and make fat profits for themselves. So in the process safety tends to get de-prioritised and looks and features assume greater importance( for car makers). This would not be possible if stringent regulations by the Govt. are enacted and enforced in letter and spirit.


For the present , if we can come upto European and US standards, say in the next ten years it would be a big achievement.But then there are numerous doubting Thomases. Pray do consider why are manufacturers even allowed to sell their cars if they fail basic crash tests. Now this can't be an over night kind of a diktat but the seeds have to be sown now so that one or two generations later our children and grandchildren can reap the benefits. There should have been screaming headlines in our print and electronic media about manufacturers whose products failed the crash tests. Instead, the media ( for the sake of revenue) unashamedly advertises these products. And they conveniently shrug their shoulders citing commercial interests.

Aren't liquor and tobacco ads banned by the Govt. because they snuff out lives, cause innumerable health issues and ruin families? Why can't a similar yardstick be applied for unsafe cars? Even more justified as tobacco/liquor causes slow death but car accidents happen in a matter of seconds. Sure GDP is important and the growth and profitability of the auto industry is important but certainly not by glossing over vital safety considerations. Folks of earlier generations would remember anecdotes doing the rounds that one could cause a dent on the body of a particular hatchback by giving it a good thump with bare fists. ( A friend, who was the proud owner of one such car, did not allow us to carry out the experiment. I'm sure you've got the general drift).


The Central Govt and the State Govts can do much more particularly with reference to bringing out greater awareness, granting driving licenses and enforcing pro safety laws.
But I have ranted enough. Thanks for the patience. More in my next post on the subject.

Last edited by ampere : 28th May 2017 at 19:47.
vkr15 is offline   (2) Thanks
Old 28th May 2017, 23:21   #18
Senior - BHPian
 
agambhandari's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Delhi,Ludhiana
Posts: 1,443
Thanked: 1,762 Times
Default re: City cars: What about safety?

The scenario is definitely changing, any car coming out after October this year needs to have the airbags and abs as standard, and it will be mandatory for the current models by 2018. Not long before we all get what we get something at least.

And adding another thing, given the rampant disregard of the traffic lights he, I believe a side airbag and curtain airbags are more important than even the front ones, given the high possibility of being T-boned.
I see hatchbacks and what, just 2 hatchbacks offer them (Figo and i20) and Eben then only in top models. It's not difficult to do. A Celerio sold in the UK comes standard with 6 airbags!! And here we need to spec even 2 airbags as an option. So I believe, no the Indian hatchbacks are not safe enough.

Last edited by agambhandari : 28th May 2017 at 23:25.
agambhandari is offline   (2) Thanks
Old 29th May 2017, 02:07   #19
Senior - BHPian
 
carwatcher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Bardez, Goa
Posts: 1,184
Thanked: 1,025 Times
Default re: City cars: What about safety?

Most of the Indian Hatchbacks are not STRUCTURALLY safe and we all know that well.

But tell me, with the huge taxes, etc. is it possible to sell a good quality car for such mouthwatering prices as the manufacturer's show. I may be wrong in my assumption but I am witnessing continuously why even the biggest of brands are offering Made for India versions, why ?

The bigger question should actually be, are Indian roads and traffic is SAFE for any vehicle be it a bicycle or a Truck.
carwatcher is offline   (2) Thanks
Old 29th May 2017, 05:12   #20
BHPian
 
BLACKBLADE's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: TRZ
Posts: 157
Thanked: 474 Times
Default re: City cars: What about safety?

In a country where two wheelers are still predominantly used for commuting in the city, migrating to a car is a big step even for an average middle class family. I would any day be more relieved to see a family of four or five travelling in a budget hatch back, than hanging on for their dear life on an overloaded two wheeler. Safety is still a luxury in our country. It comes at a cost and till the time there are consumers who are ready to buy cars sans any safety features, these cars sell, and how ? In huge numbers Manufacturers are just catering to the market demand. After all they run their business for making money. As long as there is no legislation prescribing a bare minimum safety standards a vehicle should meet, manufacurers won't stop producing or selling these cars.

That said, times are changing. We as a nation are emerging. The young generation of India will witness the change, hopefully. And with the infrastructure development that happens equally to support the cause of safer cars, I believe an entry level hatch back with four airbags and ABS as standard minimum safety features won't be a pipe dream.

Still Traction Control, ESP, Brake Assist, Forward Collision Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Warning, Parking Assist etc. will be luxury safety features that only big money could buy. For now I would be extremely happy if all the occupants of the cars are aware of the importance of seat belts and atleast buckle up !

Last edited by BLACKBLADE : 29th May 2017 at 05:17.
BLACKBLADE is offline   (5) Thanks
Old 29th May 2017, 09:59   #21
BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Panchkula
Posts: 77
Thanked: 94 Times
Default re: City cars: What about safety?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BLACKBLADE View Post
As long as there is no legislation prescribing a bare minimum safety standards a vehicle should meet, manufacurers won't stop producing or selling these cars.
+1 to that. What the country needs today is auto safety activist movements to force Govts to pass such laws for the safety of its citizens. I could be grossly uninformed, but one does not read about PIL's in courts and tribunals relating to auto safety.

Last edited by ampere : 29th May 2017 at 10:05. Reason: Fixed quote tags
vkr15 is offline   (2) Thanks
Old 29th May 2017, 11:53   #22
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Santoshbhat's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 2,326
Thanked: 6,508 Times
Default re: City cars: What about safety?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
I feel perfectly safe driving tiny or old hatchbacks in the city, even with kids on board.

I'm not kidding - but the biggest fear these days while driving in Bangalore is the fear of tree branch or entire tree falling on your car. It is extremely windy (accompanied by rains) in the evenings here.

A small AT hatchback with a strong roll cage is best for Bangalore
You can say that again. Last week I had the "pleasure" of returning home after what you can can at best call a fairly heavy shower that lasted no more than an hour. When I returned to the parking spot, I saw my Polo had a narrow escape (see pic). We (kids on board) were stuck on the road for 2.5 hrs to trying to return home only 5 kms away. Underpasses flooded, roads blocked due to fallen trees. I don't think I've ever felt so scared driving a car before in my life.
Attached Thumbnails
City cars: What about safety?-20170520_212556.jpg  


Last edited by Santoshbhat : 29th May 2017 at 11:58.
Santoshbhat is online now   (7) Thanks
Old 29th May 2017, 15:09   #23
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 61,649
Thanked: 210,327 Times
Default Re: City cars: What about safety?

Voted for no. You can count the number of safe hatchbacks on your fingers...of one hand .

Driving an unsafe car on Indian roads - be it the city & especially on the highway - is akin to entering a gun fight without a bulletproof vest. It's just too darn dangerous out there. This is one of the reasons I've stopped taking my Jeep out on the highway. She's too old, outdated & rusty to offer any kind of protection in a crash.

Always insisted that, whatever the price, you'll get a safer used car than a new one. 3 - 4 lakhs can get me a nicely maintained Liva / Etios / Polo / Punto / i20 etc....the new cars in that price band are shockingly weak. I sold my well kept Civic for 2.5 lakhs - crash it against a Nano or Omni and see who walks out unscathed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vishy76 View Post
but what about first in class safety? Who would start that revolution?
1. Customers. If customers demand safety, manufacturers will provide. Unlikely to happen in India as we don't even understand the importance of seatbelts, helmets or good tyres.

2. Government by rolling out minimum safety standards (just like their very effective BS-IV emission requirements).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chetan_Rao View Post
'Manufacturers do whatever is best for their bottom line, while staying within the regulations of a specific market.

If Europe/USA relaxed safety norms tomorrow, do you think manufacturers will blink twice before cutting corners there too?
Well said, Chetan . Car manufacturers are the same rogues - whatever the country - driven primarily by the bottom line + stock prices. If the USA or Europe didn't have any safety initiatives by their respective governments, we'd all see fragile tin cans on sale there.
GTO is offline   (7) Thanks
Old 29th May 2017, 15:17   #24
Team-BHP Support
 
vb-san's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: S'pore/Thrissur
Posts: 6,233
Thanked: 8,440 Times
Default Re: City cars: What about safety?

Voted No! It will remain unsafe as long as we don’t have road-worthiness laws based on crash tests and mandated safety features. I don’t subscribe to the thought that it will drive the prices high. For e.g.; no manufacturer charge a premium for having seat belts. It s mandated by law and they provide it – same can be the case with Airbags, ABS etc.
vb-san is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 29th May 2017, 19:36   #25
BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Panchkula
Posts: 77
Thanked: 94 Times
Default Re: City cars: What about safety?

Hi Folks,
Chanced upon this very apt video that is relevant to this discussion.
Take a look and form your own opinion.
vkr15 is offline   (2) Thanks
Old 24th June 2019, 21:52   #26
BHPian
 
Sanidhya mukund's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 326
Thanked: 2,685 Times
Default Re: City cars: What about safety?

Posting this here, as I canít find a more relevant thread.

My garage consists of a 2014 Mercedes c class petrol and a 19 year old Ford ikon. Until now, the Merc was my highway car and the ikon was used to run errands. However, the NGT decided that older cars cannot run in Delhi anymore, forcing me to look for a replacement for the ikon. Now I just wanted a cheap,spacious,comfortable,safe car with reasonable luggage carrying capacity. Cars like the WagonR, Ignis etc meet my needs well, but the question is are they safe enough? They have dual airbags and ABS but is that sufficient for the city? The main question is, is it ok if the car has a slightly weak structure, but not as weak as the alto,Datsun go etc.?
Sanidhya mukund is offline  
Old 14th December 2020, 11:54   #27
BANNED
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Pune
Posts: 68
Thanked: 24 Times
Default Re: City cars: What about safety?

These are some of the safest hatchbacks in India:-

1. Tata Altroz - It is currently the safest hatchback in India. Global NCAP awarded it a five-star rating across all variants for adult protection and a three-star rating for child occupant safety. As per Global NCAP's report, it provides good protection to the driver's neck, head, and knee while the protection offered to the driver's chest is adequate. The bodyshell was rated as stable and it was capable of withstanding further loadings.

2. Volkswagen Polo- Volkswagen vehicles are known for their sturdy build quality and it doesn't come as a surprise that it is one of the safest hatchbacks in the country. The Polo has been awarded a four-star safety rating by Global NCAP. According to the safety organisation's report, the protection offered to the driver and passenger head and neck was good thanks while chest receives adequate protection.

3. Tata Tiago- Tata took everyone by surprise when it announced that its entry level hatchback Tiago was awarded a four-star safety rating by Global NCAP. Tiago offers good protection to driver and passenger's head and neck but driverís chest showed marginal protection and passengerís chest showed adequate protection. The bodyshell, however, was rated as unstable and it was not capable of withstanding further loadings.
ButterRider 7 is offline  
Old 14th December 2020, 12:35   #28
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,048
Thanked: 3,519 Times
Default Re: City cars: What about safety?

I have a different perspective here.

I think safety is a relative term.

For a person having a car of 40L with 6 airbags, traction control, ABS and all features, an alto or santro may look like totally unsafe can. And he expects even a beater car (2nd or 3rd car in his garage) to have all safety features and considers 6 air bags to be basic necessity in life.

But let us also see another perspective, say a splendor bike rider's view:

Imagine, he is trying to upgrade his 15 years splendor to 125cc or 150cc bike and dreaming of a car by stretching (a huge stretch) his budget

He sees himself very safe on the road by driving a 4 wheeler (alto or any other "unsafe" car in rich man eye) as against a 2 wheeler.

And if his drives include only city drive where his speed never crosses 60kmph, he will not be ready to invest that extra money for safety in addition to his already extended budget of bike upgrade.

So, since manufacturer has to cater to all class of people in the country and majority of population is from the class that i mentioned, i dont think any manufacturer would go with adding all safety features.
gkveda is offline  
Old 14th December 2020, 12:42   #29
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Nil
Posts: 350
Thanked: 2,201 Times
Default Re: City cars: What about safety?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gkveda View Post
Imagine, he is trying to upgrade his 15 years splendor to 125cc or 150cc bike and dreaming of a car by stretching (a huge stretch) his budget

He sees himself very safe on the road by driving a 4 wheeler (alto or any other "unsafe" car in rich man eye) as against a 2 wheeler.

And if his drives include only city drive where his speed never crosses 60kmph, he will not be ready to invest that extra money for safety in addition to his already extended budget of bike upgrade.
An Alto or Celerio or Spresso are not cheap. They cost upwards of 4 lakhs for a mid variant. You can get a 4 star Tiago for that money. If you cannot pay 4 lakhs, get a used Polo, Tiago, Zest or something similar.

Defending unsafe cars should become truly uncool in today's day and age given that domestic companies have shown that it is possible to make them for the same price.
Cessna182 is offline  
Reply

Most Viewed
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks