Anti-lock braking system (ABS) is one of the major safety features that can possibly help in reducing the number of road accidents happening around. But sadly, the Indian auto market is more focused by a cost efficient industry than safety measurements. Hence, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has now made official statement that the ABS will be made compulsory on all new cars that will be launched from April 2019 onwards. According to study, around 150,000 people lost their lives to road accidents in 2016. The primary factor behind such a huge number of road accidents can be stated as damaged roads, poor driving skills and absence of safety features. Studies have showed that ABS can reduce the risk of accidents by 30 per cent by allowing the driver to keep control on the car even in sudden braking conditions, which is otherwise not possible.
Another concern i.e. the presence of airbags has also been addressed, with the body ruling airbags as compulsory in all cars that will launch after October 2017. Moreover, all the current models are bound to be armed with safety airbags from October 2019 onwards. Several of the current breed of India-based cars do not offer ABS and safety airbags as standard. Some affordable and popular cars like Maruti Suzuki Baleno & Ignis offer ABS and airbags, while some of the mini cars like Hyundai Eon and Renault Kwid don’t offer ABS at all, even as an option. Due to the damaged roads and vehicles and poor driving skills of vehicle users, road accidents are not as uncommon in India as they ought to be. All existing models will offer airbags as standard from October 2019. In simple words, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways Authorities needs all cars manufactured in India on and after 1 April 2018 to be rolled out with ABS as a standard feature across all variants. Also, from April 1, 2019, all cars that are sold in the country should be fitted with the ABS technology. This move will certainly shoot up the prices of the vehicles sold in India. Coming to two-wheelers, the Government of India has already issued an announcement that needs two-wheeler manufacturers to introduce ABS and CBS as a regular feature on their offerings from the next year.