More than 1.5 lakh deaths were recorded in 2019, due to fatal road accidents in India. It is not mere statistics, but a grave and alarming reality.
Source : Page 15 – https://morth.nic.in/sites/default/files/RA_Uploading.pdf
Passenger vehicle safety in India was brought into limelight in 2014 by Global NCAP, by crash testing some of the then prominent selling cars in India. Global New Car Assessment Programme (Global NCAP) is a UK-based independent charity, focused on consumer oriented vehicle safety initiatives (UK registered charity number: 1141798). You can read more about them here – http://www.globalncap.org/about/.
Major impetus for PV car safety came from Government of India in 2016, by making Driver side airbag and ABS, as mandatory equipment for all PV, from 1st July 2019.
Since 2014, GNCAP has had tested more and more cars, and urged car manufactures in India, to be more responsible and sensitive towards PV safety.
In 2020, 43% of total passenger cars sold in India were at certain point tested by GNCAP, and awarded safety rating score. 5% of all the cars sold in 2020 were rated 5 star (highest) in crash test, and guess what, all of them comes from home grown PV manufacturer – Tata Motors and Mahindra, more on that later.
Volume is highly skewed towards 2 star rated products, all are hatchbacks which forms the majority of sales
Even with driver airbag, Maruti S-Presso scored 0 star
Price point at which cars are sold in India has no significant correlation to safety ratings
Best selling cars from Maruti, Hyundai and Kia tilts the scale on lower safety rating side
Body shell integrity
Active and passive safety feature is critical, but what is more vital is, how overall car body absorbs, channelize and dissipate collision impact energy through structural members of the car body.
New generation product from Mahindra and Tata have been found with stable bodyshell
Stable bodyshell does means better score
Tata Tigor/Tiago were only products to score 4 star despite unstable bodyshell
GNCAP note on Tata Tigor and Tiago : The protection offered to the driver and passenger’s head and neck was good. Driver’s chest showed marginal protection and passenger’s chest showed adequate protection. Driver and passenger’s knees showed marginal protection as they impact dangerous structures behind the facia. The bodyshell was rated as unstable and it was not capable of withstanding further loadings. Footwell area was rated as unstable. The vehicle has standard SBR for driver and passenger. The car has standard ABS.
To be continued…