The government of India has issued a notification, making ABS (Antilock Braking System) a mandatory fitment in all commercial vehicles, starting from April next year. The move would go a long way in improving the road safety standards in the country.
India has been registering the highest number of deaths due to road accidents globally. According to a report in Economic Times, around 1.42 lakh people lost their lives in 5 lakh road accidents (reported) in the country last year, which equates to one death every four minutes!
Around 30% of the reported accidents involved trucks, buses or multi-axle tractor trailers. Industry data suggests that 77% of road mishaps were because of collision, loss of control or lane departure.
ABS prevents loss of control by eliminating the chances of wheels locking under heavy braking. The principle is to ensure that all the wheels retard at the same rate irrespective of the varying traction levels. This is achieved by regulating the brake pressure at each wheel instantaneously. The result is more control and reduced braking distance, both of which are crucial in averting an accident.
The yet-to-be-launched commercial vehicle models will have to be equipped with ABS starting from April 2015. The automakers are given an additional time of 6 months to fit ABS in new vehicles of the existing models. The new mandate is expected to make CVs dearer by INR 50,000 to 1 lakh.
However, the mandate doesn't cover passenger vehicles. While many mass market cars offer ABS as an option, the majority of sales in the A and B segments come from non-ABS models and variants. Making the vital safety equipment compulsory across all types of automobiles, like in developed countries, would certainly help in bringing down road fatalities.
[Source: Economic Times]