Mercedes-Benz and its group companies Mercedes-Benz India (MBIL), Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV), Mercedes-Benz Research and Development India (MBRDI) and Daimler Financial Services India (DFS) inaugurated Safe Roads – Kochi, as part of the multi-city awareness road-show that started in New Delhi in 2015. This initiative was flagged off at Rajagiri College, Kochi by Jochen Feese, Head of Accident Research, Sensor Functions and Pedestrian Protection, Mercedes-Benz Cars, in the presence of Manu Saale, MD & CEO, MBRDI.
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’ was hence conceptualized by Mercedes-Benz, in an effort to reduce this startling fatality rate on Indian roads, by creating more awareness on road safety. Mercedes-Benz is convinced that such initiatives can begin an era of road safety awareness that supports a new culture of road safety for Indians. Over 70 per cent of the fatalities can be reduced in the next ten years through education and enforcement of safety rules and by creating awareness.
‘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 most popular exhibit remains the Belt-Slide which 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.
New exhibits for this year include Crashed Mercedes-Benz GLC and Mercedes-Benz PRE-SAFE Seat system. Visitors witnessed an actual crashed vehicle. The passenger compartment of the GLC remained stable in the frontal offset barrier test. The car scored maximum points for its protection of the front passenger dummy, with good protection of all critical body areas. Dummy readings indicated good protection of the knees and femurs of both the driver and passenger. Also, GLC scored maximum points for its protection of the 1.5 year child dummy in the frontal offset tests (Source: EuroNCAP website).
The Mercedes-Benz PRE-SAFE Seat system enables visitors to experience the PRE-SAFE features of the Seat. Using a network of sensors, PRE-SAFE system can detect certain conditions that suggest an accident is about to occur. The PRE-SAFE seat system then pre-tensions the front seat belts, adjusts the front head restraints and passenger seat to better prepare the occupants for more effective results from the restraint systems.
An absolute highlight is the Mercedes-Benz S-Class S500. The S-class will be on display to showcase a glimpse of future of safety. The S-class illustrates trailblazing innovations in the field of active and passive safety.
As per Ministry of Road Transport & Highway, India (MORTH) 2015 report, India is a signatory to Brasilia Declaration and is committed to reduce the number of road accidents and fatalities by 50 per cent by 2020. However, with one of the highest motorization growth rate in the world accompanied by rapid expansion in road network and urbanization over the years, our country is faced with serious impacts on road safety levels. The total number of road accidents increased by 2.5 per cent from 4,89,400 in 2014 to 5,01,423 in 2015. The total number of persons killed in road accidents increased by 4.6 per cent from 1,39,671 in 2014 to 1,46,133 in 2015. Road accident injuries have also increased by 1.4 per cent from 4,93,474 in 2014 to 5,00,279 in 2015.
Following the event at Kochi, the Safe Roads initiative will travel to Hyderabad and Kolkata this year.