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What Indian car owners should know about the mandatory crash test?

[dropcap]A[/dropcap] “Accidents happen” and that is why we don’t call it as we “commit accident” unless deliberately done. But reducing the impact of the accident can sometimes be in our hands. It depends on which car you were in during accident. Does the car which we use really matter in case of an accident? If you feel it does not then you are probably wrong. All cars apparently might look the same. But they are very different when comes to the security. The design decides how safe a car is in reducing the impact on passengers during the collision. We do not buy a car thinking we would bang it somewhere someday. But, we cannot be irresponsible to not care about “How safe the car is”

Max Mosley, Global NCAP Chairman said: “It is extremely disappointing that Nissan has authorized the launch of a brand new model that is so clearly sub-standard. As presently engineered the Datsun Go will certainly fail to pass the United Nation’s frontal impact regulation. In these circumstances, I would urge Nissan to withdraw the Datsun Go from sale in India pending an urgent redesign of the car’s bodyshell.”

In October 2014, Global NCAP Chairman Max Mosley had written to Nissan Chairman and CEO, Carlos Ghosn, calling for an urgent withdrawal of the Datsun Go from the Indian and related markets.

car crashOctober 2014  – Indian hatchbacks Tata Nano, Alto 800, Hyundai i10, Ford Figo and the Volkswagen, Swift, Datsun Go were tested for frontal collision, side collision, and pedestrian safety design tests. All of which scored zero stars for adult protection? The scores came as a shocker to most car lovers in India. Because these were the cars loved by most of the Indians. However, most Indians who used these cars, did not even bother to look into the report and give a thought about how important a design is.   Thanks to Indian Government for understanding the importance of safety and their measure to introduce the regulations to all car makers on Safety in Cars.

In a move to make new cars safer, government is all set to introduce mandatory crash tests for all new models of cars from 2017.

Crash Test?  Here is a cheat sheet to understand what is crash test.

Why go for a crash test:

Test gives the idea as to when crashed, how safe is a car for the occupants inside. Assess the impact on Passengers in case of a crash.

How is the test done?

The human body is replicated with crash-test dummies, loaded with sensors. The dummy is sized like an average adult, or a small child to tests the level of injury sustained by a real life one. After the test is performed, the readings from the sensors are used to predict the level of injury that might be sustained in a real-life crash.

Types of Tests done?

Frontal collision:  The front offset collision test is performed at a speed of 64kph. Car is accelerated to 64kmph and is made to hit a barrier which is placed at 40% offset. Most fatal accidents occur this manner.

Side collision: The side impact test uses a trolley that hits the vehicle just above the door sill area at 50 kph.

Pedestrian safety tests:      Pedestrian safety test is performed to understand how much injury the car can make if it hits a pedestrian.

Standards followed in for a crash test

Depending on the region, NCAP (New Cars Assessment Program) an autonomous body assess the car for safety

Now let us understand what is being implemented in India.

Though Indian cars need not have to pass European standards safety is a must for Indian cars from now on. Indian’s deserve safety.  Car shell design has to provide a minimum level of safety to the occupants.

  • The frontal crash tests will be at 56 kmph (ECE Reg 94 test speed),
  • The norms set for side crash tests will be 50 kmph.
  • Both the standards will meet the international test norms that make the vehicles safer for occupants.
  • The fronts and other portions of the new cars sold have to be designed in a manner that pedestrians don’t receive a major injury when they are hit by these vehicles.Meanwhile, facilities for carrying out such tests by placing dummies in front and rear seats would be ready by the en

Though India is not having test facility to perform crash tests, new test centers will be developed by the end of 2015. Indian roads need safety. Nobody deserves a death due to manufacturer’s mistake when there are proven methods to design a safe car, why compromise on safety for cost?

“You can earn the penny you spend for you safety tomorrow. But would not be able to get back the life you lost for compromising on the safety” So think twice and wise before buying a car.

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Yashaswi P Narayana

Yashaswi P Narayana

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