Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has made it necessary for all new cars launched after the 1st of April 2021 to have dual front airbags. We presume this to be only the beginning of many such reforms the government will introduce to improve road safety. So, here are 10 safety features that we think should be made mandatory for all cars plying on the Indian roads.
Electronic Stability Control
When a vehicle loses traction, this safety feature recognizes this and tries to overcome it, preventing the car from skidding. With Electronic Stability Control (ESC) the chances of the person behind the wheel losing control over the car become less. In a few years time, the government could possibly make this safety feature mandatory in all cars. This device is also called the Electronic Stability Program.
ABS, EBD and Brake Assist
The Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) prevents the wheel from locking up while you are trying to hit the brakes. Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) on the other hand makes sure that the correct braking power is allotted to each wheel of the vehicle. ABS with EBD comes as a standard safety feature in modern cars.
However, drivers often don’t step on the brakes hard enough during a crisis. Brake Assist (BA) which works with ABS comes in handy in such an emergency. BA figures out if the driver of the vehicle is trying to do an emergency stop. But if the person did not accomplish this with a lot of success, BA takes over and applies the brakes with the needed force.
Rear Parking Sensors
The rear parking sensors are installed in the rear bumper of the vehicle. These parking sensors exist to protect the driver from accidentally hitting something when they are trying to back their car into a parking spot. Based on how they detect object these parking sensors come in two kinds – ultrasonic and electromagnetic.
Rear Seat Belt Warning Light
The chance of fatality due to a road accident doubles when you don’t use a seatbelt. Even though Section 138 (3) of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules makes it necessary for the occupants of the vehicle at the rear to wear a seat belt, people hardly follow this through. Rear seat belts more often than not, come with neither pre-tensioners not load limiters. It might appear as if the safety of the rear occupants is often taken for granted.
Child Safety Locks
This safety device deters children from opening the rear doors by accident. These locks are often cast into the back doors. This prevents the children seated at the back from unlocking the car door. You can use this feature when the vehicle is in motion or when the car is parked.
Impact Sensing Auto Door Unlock
Another safety feature we wish would they would make mandatory is the impact sensing door unlock system. This device will cause the door to unlock if the impact sensor detects a crash.
Here is another important safety system we hope to see more in cars. The cornering lamps are useful while making turns. The fog lights rotate to light the way on the side of the vehicle. This feature is useful while you have to drive at night.
Blind Spot Monitor
The blind-spot monitors use sensors (and sometimes a camera) to detect the motor vehicles in the nearby lanes. If this piece of driver-assist technology finds something in your blind spots, it’ll warn you. For now, we only get this safety device in the higher-end variants of most cars.
With a 360-Degree Camera, it is possible to know what is happening around the car. This system accomplishes this by making use of the cameras installed around the vehicle. The 360-Degree Camera can play an important role in protecting the car from road traffic accidents.
Tyre Pressure Monitor
This is another safety feature that is a must. As the name suggests, the Tyre Pressure Monitor senses the air pressure in each of the car tyres. When a tyre starts losing pressure, this safety device will warn the driver. A drop in tyre pressure can cause the tyres to heat up more than usual. Underinflation is the leading cause of most tyre blowout.
For now, many of these safety features exist only as something the top-spec variants of cars offer. It is not pragmatic to suggest that all these devices be made mandatory. Also, this would push up the prices of cars and can, in turn, depressing their demand. But making some of these compulsory would go a long way towards ensuring road safety.