According to Global NCAP, some of the most popular small cars sold in India, including Maruti Alto 800 and the famous Tata Nano, have failed crash tests showing high risk of life-threatening injuries in road accidents. Four out of five 'budget' cars of the country have failed in the independent crash tests recently performed by the agency.
Out of the five tested cars, Polo and Figo were the only two cars that were able to maintain their structures at 64 kmph collision, while the other three crashed at a much slower speed of 56 kmph, in ways that would likely lead to fatality or serious injury even with air bags. In the tests, only the VW Polo’s 2014 model had air bags, which were added after the earlier model failed the crash test. Volkswagon said the air bags and the anti-lock brakes (ABS) would come as standard from Feb. 1 along along with 2.7 percent price hike.
David Ward, head of the Global New Car Assessment Programme (GNCAP), said, "The results are an indictment of the auto industry in India, which lacks adequate safety standards and India has some of the deadliest roads in the world. Drivers should be educated and protected by regulation, but that’s not happening in India.”
Last year, India produced 3.2 million cars which is almost twice the 1.7 million units manufactured in the 2008 fiscal year. For the bulk of those sold within India, air bags and rear passenger seat belts were optional, and none was required to be tested for its ability to withstand a collision.
A report from World Health Organisation (WHO) says in-adequate safety features, combined with reckless driving and shoddy roads, has helped give India a road death rate that is more than six times as high as that of the United States and nearly three times China’s rate.
If analysed in another way, one out of ten people killed in a road accident worldwide is an Indian.
Information & Pictures Courtsey- Global NCAP