The recent fatal accident involving Cyrus Mistry, the former chairman of Tata Sons, has drawn renewed attention to the issue of seat belts and airbags in cars.

Although active and passive safety systems differ in cars mainly based on cost, there is no denying the fact that with the increasing number of road accidents, the police alone cannot solve the problem.

The problem of complying with police or government requirements is not unique to India. Even in countries such as the UK, road safety experts have suggested that stronger guidelines are needed on the use of police technology to encourage the use of mobile security cameras and dashcams when chasing motorists who use hand-held mobile phones and are not wearing seat belts. Video recorders can be useful in such incidents when it comes to finding evidence.

As for the mandatory installation of more airbags in passenger cars, irrespective of category and price in India, the auto industry has so far been cool with the proposal, citing that it would lead to higher car prices. This is a weak argument when it comes to human life.

It’s safe to say that most airbags will deploy in an impact. The airbag itself in its activated state moves at a very high speed – 160-350 km/h and can cause significant damage to a person. Car manufacturers recommend that passengers stay at least 10 inches away from an airbag when it deploys. This is one of the main reasons why wearing a seat belt is extremely important for passenger safety. Both airbags and seat belts are designed to protect passengers. Not having it in action can be disastrous.

In this edition of the magazine, we have covered the interesting aspects of trendsetters like Marelli, Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, TI, Skoda and Jeep. Each of these brands gives us an insight into how things are going in the automotive industry and what the future holds for consumers.

On October 1, the government will make an official announcement about airbags for passenger cars. So, stay with us.

In the meantime, we strongly encourage all vehicle occupants to buckle up and stay safe while traveling!

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