A simple google search will tell you about the safest cars in the world. Add in specific words to this search and you can find the safest car in your budget. It’s a common belief that Volvos are the safest automobiles in the world. Almost all frontline Volvos are conferred with shining stars when it comes to crash tests. The crash test videos are fascinating and the scorecards impress us with the ability of the cars to keep the occupants safe. Not just Volvos, many others have joined the clan of making better and safer cars. The higher you go on the budget, the safer the car becomes. You get a tough body, advanced technology, smart accessories, and also artificial intelligence taking care of you.
They drive you, they park you, they entertain you, they even save you when you decide to go crazy on the speedometer. They are versatile and expert certified. But does that make you invincible? Do the tech and mech have the ability to eradicate the possibility of accidents, and fatality? DO these safe and super equipped cars never get into accidents, never break at all?
Modern cars are safer and intelligent than their previous generations. However, not all vehicles get the fancy tech, budget blocks the way. Car-makers do pump in maximum to make their cars safe but the price segments do not allow the same assortment of features to be available for all segments. Some features are expensive and can’t fit in the lower budgets. That raises questions, are entry-level segment cars safe to drive, or should they even be made? Debatable.
Not everyone sits with chunky wallets. And for the Indian dream, a car is a must for every family. Every one of us aspires to stretch a little and buy that ‘first car by self-made money’. However small, however big, that first car out of the numerous paychecks saved is a dream for many. Soaring prices and stagnant salaries do provide a big room for big car dreams. For what critics and experts may dismiss as one star or zero-star metal boxes, these flimsy machines are big dreams for many.
Every car on the road out there is made up of different sizes, volumes, weights, and capabilities. All can’t be driven in the same way. Your compacts can’t go crazy fast, your SUVs are no nimble, your sports cars can’t do potholes. So, what brings all of these to behave alike?
It’s tough to follow rules when the open roads and a seamless tarmac lies in front of you. The foot becomes heavy and you speed away with glory with no regards to our very own road warriors the RTO. You go above 100 in a lane that reads 30. Our argument – our cars can do it, they are made for it. Whether our vehicle is well equipped or not, we still go for it. And many a time, it does not go well.
Rules and regulations have started to feel like unnecessary problems. Everyone at the signal is trying to evade the lines, lanes, red lights, stop signs. In no honking zones, we push the horns like no tomorrow. Cars are rarely seen in their lanes, the ones trying to follow are mocked at. And then there’s road rage. When the cops stop us when we jump a signal, cause obstruction, we start to explain why it was the right thing to do. Imagine, we try to justify jumping a signal. The system put in place to regulate everyday traffic can’t be so wrong that we are trying to correct it by breaking the law. And then to exercise the obeyance of law heavy fines and penalties are imposed.
Laws are put in place to help people realise their mistake and for them to avoid repeating them. But once fined for an offence, we seem to be motivated for revenge against the system. We start blaming the officials, and one of the main things that we pin them to is – the condition of roads.
Condition of roads is a sweet spot where any argument against the government officials can be continued till eternity. The road conditions do affect our driving styles and also have adverse effects on our vehicles. Well, the argument is not all wrong, there are many accidents that happen due to the faulty construction of the roads. The right specifications are not followed by the contractors and so concrete debris is used to carry our patchwork on tarmacs.
The debris falls loose after a while which causes vehicles to slip and slide on the same. However, even on neat and clean roads, accidents do happen, on speedways and highways, or even a small good patch of inner lanes.
So safe cars don’t avoid accidents. Rules and regulations can’t avoid accidents. Nor can good roads. So how can we make our drives or rides safer?
At 18, we have the right to do a lot of things. We are eligible for a lot of things and can acquire a licence for the same. We get to driving schools and wallah, in a matter of 30days we have the official permission to drive. In a country like India, it’s easy-peasy to get a driving licence, some even get it without a proper test. Push in the money is like an anthem of achievement.
We don’t have proper exams, or setup, for driving schools. And so the seriousness about the same get hampered. The fundamentals of the vehicle, of the driving, the purpose of procedures, none of it is taken seriously and therefore once the official permit is received, we are like free birds. We learn to flap our wings while on the fastest lane of the busiest highway.
Our rule books, which were thrown in the trash have remained there forever. Many of us motivate each other to take the car out and practice on main roads. While it may be the best sounding advice for instant motivation however it is a ridiculous idea. A weapon needs to be learnt in a closed, or guarded range or field and then wielded in war, because once miscalculation then turns out to be the unexpected.
We as drivers, experts, racers, or learners, should take the responsibility of our cars, our rules, our roads, and our duties when we are out there behind the wheel. A million-dollar SUV is nothing on a seamless tarmac when we capable humans start to monkey around with the rules and exploit the machines.