India a country with one of the highest fatal road accidents should avoid going the United States (US) way of going in for more for Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) as they make the roads less safe for other small car occupants, pedestrians and cyclists
“Recent studies in various countries have shown that the car industry’s relentless push to sell ever larger and heavier SUVs in every segment is bad news for road safety, but particularly for those driving smaller, more efficient vehicles, and vulnerable road users. It’s critically important for countries like India that the government push the market towards vehicles that are more fit for purpose and safer for all road users,” said David Ward, Executive president, Global New Car Assessment Programme (Global NCAP) while speaking at the three-day ‘Global Road Safety Initiative ‘.
The Initiative was being organised by the Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE) in partnership with the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, Government of India, and in association with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)
“Increasing growth and demand for SUV’s in India and other countries is a major road safety and environmental challenge, the governments should discourage sale of these big vehicles. In recent years, cars have become heavier, taller and more powerful. Numerous studies have found that SUVs and pick-up vehicles are more deadly to vulnerable road users (VRUs) in almost any crash,” said Ward.
“The risk of fatal injuries to vulnerable road users increases as the bonnet height of the vehicle hitting them increases. For example, a pedestrian or cyclist hit by a car with a bonnet 90 cm high runs a 30% greater risk of fatal injury than if hit by a vehicle with a bonnet 10 cm lower. Large SUVs increased the risk of serious injury to other road users by about a third more than medium-sized SUVs,” he said .
“The car industry’s relentless push to sell ever larger and heavier SUVs in every segment is bad news for road safety, but particularly for those driving smaller, more efficient vehicles, and vulnerable road users. The Indian government has taken maximum steps for increasing road safety in recent few years including development of Bharat NCAP with partnership with none other than GNCAP. India has been adopting global road safety practices by keeping an eye on what’s global best practice,” he added.
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