In India currently road safety is still not a major concern for most. We have a large number of accidents that occur on road. A report suggest that every hour 15 accidents are caused in India.
Mercedes-Benz has begun an innovative CSR initiative from Delhi, which will travel to major cities of India. The German manufacturer offers vehicles with several complex safety features to increase survival chance in case of an accident.
Their initiative involves showing people the difference using safety equipment and not. Mercedes claim that their study showed that most people do not use basic safety in their vehicle, even though it is available.
Mercedes India has begun its unique CSR initiative called ‘Safe Road'. It is known that we as Indians are not the best drivers and riders on road. We are also known for not opting for safety features if given the option.
They have in place a Life Saver, where they demonstrate how a life belt can save ones life. This system uses very basic and simple seat belt system and proves how effective it is.
The Life Saver simulates an accident that could occur in everyday traffic. Mercedes wants to show people by simply buckling up the chances of survival increases tremendously. It works as a roller-coaster that comes to a sudden halt from 11 kph showing the importance seat belts.
The next demonstration is importance of being positioned right before an accident called ‘Pre-Safe'. Mercedes-benz has developed technology knowing that rear seat occupants usually will be relaxed. Their system puts you in best position that will improve your chances of survival. The seat straightens up and hugs the passenger for firm support.
One more important aspect that we usually forget is kids on the rear seats. They cannot be strapped in by seat belts we use for adults. Child seats are available in our market and offer protection to children who are most vulnerable in an accident.
The importance of airbags is of great importance, however, they are useless if occupants are not using seat belts. Mercedes engineers have developed their airbags to work with seat belts. The German R&D department say seat belts are adequate and airbags improve safety, however, having airbags and not using seat belts will ruin your chance of walking away from an accident.
Drinking and driving is a dangerous combination, it is not possible to get people drunk and demonstrate this. Mercedes in their Safe Road has special goggles that simulate a drunken state visually. People are then asked to search an object on the floor and figure out how tough it is when there is an issue obstructing vision.
In Safe Roads they also will show Indians the importance of materials and components that are used in their vehicles. Cars with better crumple zones increase the chance of survival in an accident. Engineers main focus is to protect the passenger cell.
On this vehicle the blue is the most lightest and crash absorbing material. Purple coloured parts are the most toughest and are placed for rigidity. Red is the second most strongest parts and absorbs high impacts and will dissipate kinetic energy away from the passenger cell.
Mercedes-Benz also brought to India their ESF-2009 model. This their model on which most of the innovative and future safety equipment is tested on. All of their passive and active safety equipment has been installed on this model.
Mercedes will target youth of India mainly as they are great influencers and are the future of India. Safe Roads could improve their thinking of driving and could make Indian roads safer for everyone. We would also like other manufacturers to provide additional safety features in their vehicles.