Around 1.3 million people die and 50 million get injured in road accidents every year around the world; a large number is attributed to India
Concerns over safety features in cars are higher than before. But, are the automakers doing the necessary to cater the customers the much needed life saving safety features? In developed countries the buyers take features like airbags, anti-collision system, vehicle stability system as granted, but in India and several other Asian markets, Latin American and African countries, it’s a grim picture.
India is one of the fastest growing auto markets in the world and currently it is the fifth biggest car market. Several major global car brands are present in the country. There are various interesting and attractive products on offer. But, if you look at the safety features on offer from these models, you will surely get disappointed. The automakers here offer the safety features as an accessory, not necessary measure.
Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Tata Motors, Renault, Nissan, General Motors all of them are selling several zero star safety rating cars in the country market, while these same models are sold with top notch safety features in developed countries. This clearly shows the double standard of the automakers as they are simply taking advantage of the weaker safety rules of the country. For instance we would like to remind you about the zero-star safety rating of the Renault Duster and Kwid, Honda Mobilio, Mahindra Scorpio by GNCAP.
As it appears, the automakers are creating a huge health crisis around the world in developing markets where safety norms are not as strict as in developed countries. Study shows around 1.3 million people die and 50 million people get injured in road accidents every year around the world. A major number of deaths due to road accidents happen in India only. 90% of crash fatalities happen in low and middle-income countries. This clearly indicates how car manufacturers are shoving the people towards death by not providing the necessary safety measures.
If you ask the automakers about this issue, a very common answer is that this is being done to keep the pricing affordable, which actually contradicts the fact. The difference between manufacturing cost of a car with highest and lowest level of safety is not very much. But with a low safety rating car, the occupants are risking their lives.
So, what to be done? The governments should make stricter safety norms and also introduce punitive measures in case a car brand denies to follow that. On the other hand, the carmakers should come forward to introduce live saving safety features voluntarily. It may increase the pricing for the buyers, but it will help to garner more positive response from them benefitting the brands.
Also read: Mahindra Scorpio Scores Zero Stars in GNCAP
With the concern regarding safety features increasing and life standard improving in developing countries like India, Latin American and other Asian markets, buyers will definitely opt towards buying safer cars. The companies provide better safety will be rewarded with greater revenue. But, what’s more important, a lot of precious lives will be saved.
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