Road Safety is something very essential and basic concept to the daily commuters. Some of the major causes for fatalities include speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol, being ignorant and avoiding the safety gears, distracted driving, inadequate law enforcement of traffic laws and unsafe vehicles. Every year the lives of approximately 1.35 million people are cut short as a result of a road traffic crash. Around 20-50 million people suffer non-fatal injuries, with many resulting in disability. This can be prevented to a major extend if the cars in India offer a good list of safety features. The new BNVSAP safety norms in our country have begun to make the roads safer by making safety features compulsory. Let’s take a look at what BNVSAP is before we head to safety features every car must have.
What is BNVSAP?
The Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Program (BNVSAP) is a proposed New Car Assessment Program for India. Cars sold in the country will be assigned by star ratings based on their safety performance. It will be implemented in phases, according to the plans being drawn up by the National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project. It is the 10th NCAP in the world and is being set up by the government of India.
BNVSAP started the official testing of cars in October 2017. The car testing protocols as defined by the ARAI are:
- Frontal offset testing(64km/h proposed)
- Side-impact testing
- Pedestrian protection testing
- Rear impact testing
- Child dummy dynamic crash testing
What features should you look for in your next car?
Impact Sensor Door Unlock
This system helps in unlocking the doors as soon as the car experiences impact during a crash or other unexpected incidents, making it possible for the occupants to make it out of the car before anything severe happens.
- Panic Braking Signal
In case of sudden braking, the brake lights of the rear will glow at a high-frequency flashing, alerting the driver behind about the upcoming danger and thus preventing any crashes. Many times, this feature in cars is not considered important, but this actually helps in preventing many hazards and disturbances on the roads.
- Reinforced B-Pillar
The vertical roof support structure located between the front and rear doors on a typical car is a B-Pillar. Reinforcing the B-pillars can actually help in lowering the impact of a side crash in cars, thus lowering the chances of high damage to the occupants.
- Speed Sensing Door Locks
After the car has attained a certain speed, the locks of the doors will be automatically locked. The Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Program(BNVSAP) has made the Speed-Sensing Alarm a mandate in cars, but this feature is yet to be implemented in many. But it is always preferred that the cars have this new, more evolved door-locking feature.
The Corner Brake Control(CBC)
CBC assists the driver during manoeuvring a curve at high speed. It is considered a vital component of the Electronic Stability System(ESP). It is also considered an extension of the Antilock Braking System(ABS) of a car. This system distributes the brake force accordingly and ensures that each wheel has traction with the road.
The Seatbelt Pre-tensioners
A pre-tensioner is designed to retract some of the webbings of a seatbelt the instant a collision occurs, tightening the seat belt to restrain occupants quickly and reducing the amount they are thrown forward in a moderate or severe frontal crash. Most of the Indian cars have been provided with this feature and this has proven to be an important addition to the car development industry given the poor conditions of some of the Indian roads.
Rear Parking Sensor
These sensors work on the “Object Detection” feature, wherein the distance between the car and the obstacle is calculated and the driver is alarmed about it. This feature not only helps in parking but also helps in keeping an eye on the pedestrians who might be at risk while reversing a car.
Occupants are protected from hitting the vehicle interior or objects outside the vehicle during a collision by providing Airbags, the inflatable cushions. Although the driver side airbag is made compulsory by the BNVSAP, it’s always advised to get a car that has at least dual airbags at the front for both the driver and the passenger.
ABS with EBD
The Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) is used to prevent the locking of tyres while braking to ensure control over the vehicle, especially at times of the sudden appearance of an obstacle. It is paired with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) which distributes the brake force according to various parameters such as speed, traction at the wheel and road conditions. This coupled system is made mandatory by the government of India under BNVSAP norms as well.
ISOFIX Child-Seat Anchors
With families with toddlers, this feature plays an important role in helping fix a child’s seat in a car. You can consider this as an additional feature and is kept optional for one specific reason.
Modern cars are being provided with many such features to ensure the protection of their customers. But it is always the driver’s responsibility to adhere to the safety measures and drive in the most appropriate manner. The next car you buy, ensure that it offers optimum safety features.