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Insurance Article

Airbags - A Necessity for Today’s Cars

June 10 2016
Airbags can be the difference between life and death

Functioning, deployment and usage of the safety feature

Airbags are a common safety feature in cars around the world. Their purpose is to help the passenger in the car reduce their speed in collision without being injured. An airbag has a restricted amount of time to act in the interval when the car hits the obstacle in front and the passenger strikes the steering wheel.

How Do Airbags Work

When a moderate to severe crash occurs, a signal is sent from the air bag system’s electronic control unit to the inflator within the airbag module. Due to this, an igniter or initiator in the inflator starts a chemical reaction to produce a harmless gas, which inflates the airbag in a heartbeat or 1/20th of a second to be exact.

Reasons for Airbag Deployment

An airbag should deploy in every crash where it can help prevent an injury. It is primarily designed to avert head, neck and chest injuries that you would otherwise suffer in its absence. This means that, hypothetically, a frontal air bag should deploy in case of an accident where you can injure your head hitting the steering wheel.

Since the severity of a crash depends upon the speed of the vehicle and the impact of the crash, airbags are designed to be deployed after a certain speed limit during an impact.

Incidents that range from moderate to severe crashes, and involve the front bumper or corners of your vehicle should expect an airbag deployment.

The Usage of Airbags in India

The penetration of airbag usage in India is quite low due to lack of awareness. Recent efforts to make small cars safer with optional airbags have been met with a lukewarm response from India’s price-sensitive buyers.

The costs of airbags in India range from ₹ 6,000-20,000. Many car companies offer optional airbags as it is not mandatory in India. This is why most people are reluctant to take on this feature.

However, the recent Global New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) crash test, conducted in May 2016, may soon change this mindset. This test has brought global attention to the poor standard of safety among popular Indian cars. Some popular car models have been rated zero star, for showing low levels of adult occupant protection.

Adding to this are the worrying numbers of road accidents occurring in India. According to the Ministry of Road and Highway Transport Research Wing, around 5, 10,423 people have died in road accidents in the year 2015.

With the right information and proper awareness about the importance of seatbelts and airbags, the risk of death can be reduced by 80%.

The Potential Growth in Demand for Airbags

With these recent developments, our government is keen on upgrading the safety standards of cars sold in India, which is going to lead to a boom in the airbag industry. According to research by rating agency, ICRA, the potential market opportunity for airbags in India could swell to ₹ 1, 900-2,300 crores by 2019-20. Currently, it is estimated to be up to 600-800 crores.

Safeguard your vehicle and enjoy worry-free drives by also purchasing a car insurance policy. For vehicles with airbags and other safety features, you can get a lower premium.

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