In a rare situation, if the WagonR, which was hit by a BMW X5 on Sunday night had an airbag, the driver might still be alive, or would have escaped with some injuries.
Uber cab driver, Nazrul Islam, was in front of the BMW, which was being driven by 24-year-old Shoaib Kohli. At some point near Munirka, in South Delhi, when Kohli lost control over his 2,204-kg German luxury SUV, it went and hit Islam’s 825-kg WagonR. It was Islam’s first day as an Uber driver.
Like most taxis in India, Islam’s cab did not have any airbag. On collision, the WagonR flung in the air and dragged for 50 metres before it hit the ground. Even in an accident like this, a research and engineering head of one of the automobile companies said, the driver would have in all probabilities survived, if the car had an airbag.
The engineering head added that at the time of the collision, when the airbag opens up, “it also fixes the driver in a particular position, restricts his movement, and also protects the head, chest and the shoulders.”
Kohli survived, as the airbags opened up. Islam died on the spot.
So what is the price of saving a life. The starting price of an airbag is ₹35,000, but most Indians go for a middle variant in small cars, which doesn’t have an airbag. Almost 100,000 car accidents happen in India every year.
The government is looking at overhauling car safety norms, but it is not known if that would include mandating airbags in cars. “It’s high time that the government mandates airbags. It will increase life expectancy during an accident by 70%,” said Abdul Majeed, partner with London-headquartered PwC consultancy firm.