A look at road safety statistics shows how important initiatives like this are. More people die in road traffic in India than anywhere else in the world. The Indian road authorities report 150,000 traffic deaths per year. In terms of population, that is three to four times as many as in Germany or France. Riders of two-wheel vehicles (25 percent) and children and adolescents (10.5 percent) are affected at an above-average rate.
Some of these victims are also due to Indian infrastructure. In rural areas in particular, it takes a long time for help to reach the scene of the accident. The main causes of accidents are similar to those in other regions of the world: excessive speed, drunk driving and using cell phones while driving. In addition, there are outdated vehicles that offer little protection in terms of safety for the occupants, and people generally neglect to wear or fit helmets, seatbelts and childrens' safety seats. Additionally, inadequacies in law enforcement also result in accidents.
The Indian government wants to halve the current number of accidents and road fatalities by 2020. To this end, it is launching investment programs – to improve infrastructure, for example – and is passing legislation. Starting in 2019, airbags, antilock braking systems and speed limiters will be mandatory in new vehicles. The Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Program (BNVSAP), the Indian counterpart to the NCAP crash test, is also currently in the organizational stage.
ZF also supports such developments by partnering with awareness campaigns such as
“Stop the Crash.”
The Group’s product portfolio also helps to prevent accidents or mitigate their consequences. ZF manufactures belt and airbag systems at a plant in Chennai, South India. New products launched on the market, such as the EPB electric park brake, bring additional safety benefits as they can also be integrated into the collision avoidance systems.