India has one of the highest road fatality rates across the globe. This is certainly nothing to brag about just like, say, the population of our country. Bearing in mind the fact that more and more new cars and motorcycles are hitting the country roads every single day, road safety of motorists is of paramount importance to us. To get an understanding on where we stand as a nation in terms of road-safety, Bosch – a leading automotive component maker worldwide- shared some of the key findings from its study of Indian roads.
According to Bosch, India is lagging behind countries like Germany, Japan and US by roughly 25 years in terms of road-safety. This covers major factors like roads, infrastructure, safety awareness/education and lastly, enforcement and vehicle safety (including vehicle safety inspections). As per Bosch, implementing state-of-the-art technologies and law enforcements with usage of available education on safety aspects will help in bringing India at par with Western countries within a decade.
In addition to this, the study further revealed that a major number of accidents, especially valid for rural area, are of ‘oncoming’ nature. These are mainly the ones in which an overtaking maneuver takes place. As per Bosch, these are specific to Indian roads and not seen as much in other countries.
Some accidents involving motorcycles and cars follow a common trend as seen internationally though. Motorcycle ABS (anti-lock braking system) came out as one of the most advanced safety technologies for two wheelers. Besides stopping the wheels without allowing them to skid, the system also reduces braking distance significantly. Same applies for four-wheelers as well. Most of the common accidents involve loss-of-control in critical situations. In such conditions, ABS/ESP (electronic stabilization programme) is of immense help to the driver.
On a related note, the government has infact made ABS mandatory for commercial vehicles in India, effective from April 1, 2015. A similar kind of mandate for motorcycles and cars is also being planned by the government.
Another factor that is mostly neglected in our country is the indiscipline among drivers in India. Not using seat-belt in cars or helmet in two-wheelers, driving the wrong way, jumping traffic signals and so on increase the chances of road fatalities.
In India, Bosch has established its Accident Research centre in order to understand the accident situation and their root causes as a first step. After carefully examining that, the manufacturer will derive parameters with extensive analysis of these information to bring out the benefit estimation of various safety products specific to Indian infrastructure and driving behavior while also covering accidents which are India-specific and not covered by any specific technology.
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