India is amongst the most populated countries of the world. With so many people the number of vehicles on the roads of our country increased manifold in the past years. But the roads has not been developed at the rate of the increasing traffic. Due to this, India got itself in the list of most deaths in road accidents. Now, the Government of India has announced that in order to reduce the rate of road accidents the commercial vehicles will have ABS as mandatory by April 2015.
ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) is a technology which prevents the wheels of a vehicle from skidding in case of panic braking. There are sensors installed near the wheels of the vehicle which senses the traction of that wheel and sends information to an ECU. If the wheel tends to lock up these sensors immediately tells the ECU and the ECU will apply and release the pressure of the braking fluid on the wheel very rapidly (it can do so 16 times in a second) which prevents the wheel from locking up. ABS also allows the driver to keep control of the vehicle in case of panic braking and it can also be steered while the brakes are applied.
In the developed countries, where safety of the passengers of a vehicle bags the top most priority, these technologies like ABS have been made mandatory for years now. Anyways, it is better to be late than never. After 1990s, when the seatbelts were made mandatory in all the vehicles, this is the second major step in the safety of the people by the Indian Government.
The installation of ABS on commercial vehicles will increase the safety of the people but on the other hand it will also increase the cost of the vehicle marginally. The cost of installation of an ABS in a commercial vehicle could vary from Rs 50,000 to Rs 75,000 depending on the type of the commercial vehicle. While this is a concerned move by the Indian Government, time will only tell how serious is the new rules and how seriously does the commercial vehicle owners follow these rules.
Most of the accidents in India mostly involves at least one commercial vehicle. But would making ABS as standard on such vehicles reduce the number of lives lost in such accidents? We do no doubt the intention of the Indian Government if it seriously wants to remove the name of our country from the list of ‘Most deaths due to road accidents’, then the road network of India should have to be improved considerably. Sometimes it is not the fault of the driver or a mechanical failure, sometimes it is just the miserable condition of the roads which causes an accident.
Anyways, we are not here to guide the Indian Government on how to handle the country. We just had our opinion on the matter of safety of people on roads. Apart from making ABS mandatory on the commercial vehicles, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is also considering other safety features like airbags and traction control to be installed as well.