Mercedes-Benz and its group companies have inaugurated ‘Safe Roads,’ a road safety awareness initiative, in New Delhi today. Conceptualized by Mercedes-Benz in an effort to reduce the high fatality rate on Indian roads, Safe Roads aims to create more awareness on road safety through education and enforcement of safety rules. On Indian roads, approximately 140,000 people die every year of road accidents, largely caused due to ignorance of safety norms and rules.
‘Safe Roads’ is a road show that spreads the message of road safety through physical demonstration, visual aids and research reports. The physical demonstration will be undertaken with the use of exhibits that have been brought from Germany providing a real life experience of safety measures that can potentially save lives during road accidents:
The Belt-Slide exhibit enables visitors to experience the impact of seat belts in a simulated crash environment at low speed. The aim is to increase the percentage of seat belts usage for front row passengers including driver.
Airbags will also be on display (driver and passenger airbags, curtain airbags, knee bags, etc.).
A ‘Body in White’ (BiW) passenger car exhibit highlights some of the core elements of a car structure which have high tensile strength that can absorb most of the energy during a crash and minimize passenger car intrusions.
Alcohol goggles on display also provide a unique experience. Wearing these special types of glasses simulates the common ‘walk-the-line’ activity which causes loss of balance and delayed reaction times. Visitors will feel their susceptibility to impairments and realize the potential severe consequences due to alcohol consumption.
A highlight of ‘Safe Roads’ is the original ESF (Experimental Safety) vehicle. The ESF illustrates trailblazing innovations in the field of safety like PRE-SAFE, Braking Bag, Interactive Vehicle Communication, etc., some of which have already found their introduction into current Mercedes-Benz products.
‘Safe Roads’ is a collaborative initiative of Mercedes-Benz group companies along with JP Research, Apollo Hospitals and IIT Delhi. The partner organizations have supported the initiative with in-depth research information and data on the existing scenario of road safety in India. These research reports also provide indicators of how the scenario can be improved through education and enforcement of traffic rules.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) India had seen the highest number of road traffic fatalities in 2010, and this made up about 15% of global road traffic fatalities. There has been some good work undertaken by the National Road Safety Council (NRSC) and WHO’s Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, where a declining road traffic fatality trend was observed in India for the first time, since 2012. However, road traffic injuries remain a concern as about half a million are reported each year. According to Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MORTH), during the period 2003-2013, India’s reported road traffic fatalities grew by 60%, with around 137,572 fatalities in 2013. When compared with other emerging market country, China saw a 43% fatality reduction was observed during 2004-2012.