Safe Roads - The Philosophy and the Practice

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Mercedes-Benz India presents #SafeRoads
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Mercedes-Benz India presents #SafeRoads

Safe Roads Hyderabad
Safe Roads Hyderabad
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Safe Roads Hyderabad

The vision of accident-free driving is one of the core beliefs of the Mercedes-Benz family To make this vision a reality and sensitise people about safer driving, Mercedes-Benz India, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles, and Mercedes-Benz Research & Development India (MBRDI) have come together to institute the Safe Roads Initiative.

Our definition of success is achieved when every drive you set out on is as safe as it is memorable, and we constantly strive towards that ideal. It is this perseverance that inspired us to create the world’s first Passenger Safety Body in 1959, usher in the revolutionary Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) in 1978, and finally, bring down collisions significantly with the next generation PRESAFE technology in 2006.

The next time you get behind the wheel, do so with the reassurance that we have been working towards your safety for over a century now. And our perseverance has only increased with time.

We consider it our responsibility to contribute to Indian society with our expertise and lead other luxury car brands into getting involved in raising awareness about road safety.

The first edition of Safe Roads was launched to a great start in New Delhi on April 29, 2015, before driving the movement across the country. In 2017, through Mercedes-Benz’s nationwide CSR efforts, more than 15,000 children – the future road users -- from New Delhi, Bangalore and Pune received training on road safety measures. At the Summit, 300 school children and 200 college students from New Delhi attended the event. The college students were also given a ‘First Responder Training’ by NGO partner Indian Head Injury Foundation.

Martin Schwenk, MD & CEO, Mercedes-Benz India said, “Safety has remained core to Mercedes-Benz’s DNA and it is one of the key reasons why customers trust in our brand. Apart from presenting some of the safest vehicles across our range, we also keep raising the benchmark in the domain of safety through innovative safety features for our customers. Mercedes-Benz India has been introducing novel safety measures in its product offerings that enhance the safety of passengers. Our latest contribution towards customer safety is the introduction of the ‘e-Call’ service, which we launched with our connected car application ‘Mercedes me connect’ in India. This is the first-ever ‘e-Call’ service in the industry with the aim of reducing fatalities by enabling faster and more specific assistance in case of an accident. The eCall service can immediately deploy on-site emergency assistance upon receiving data set from the affected vehicle’s embedded e-Call unit, and also verbal information from the passenger. This will be available 24/7 and 365 days per year and will cover 27 states and 5 union territories in India. We strongly believe the ‘Safe Roads’ initiative will be able to underline all these aspects of road safety comprehensively and make Indian roads, ‘safer’.”

Exhibits from the Safe Roads Initiative

A physical demonstration was undertaken with the use of exhibits that were imported from Germany to offer a real-life experience of safety measures that can potentially save lives in the event of a road accident.

Belt-Slide Exhibit
The exhibit enables visitors to experience the impact of seat belts in a simulated crash environment at low speed. The aim is to increase the percentage of seat belts usage for all onboard the vehicle.

Supplement restraint systems
The different types of Airbags (driver and passenger airbags, curtain airbags, knee bags etc.), Pre-tensioners, and Load-limiters are displayed, with a demonstration of their use and requirement.

ESF 2019:
The Experimental Safety Vehicle ESF 2019 is safety on wheels. The research vehicle is packed full of innovative tech and features – coloured lights, projective panels and a robot. The car represents how much safer the future of mobility can be.
Mercedes-Benz engineers have gone way beyond that with the ESF 2019, exploring new technology to protect passengers and others even more. The ESF 2019 is designed to be intuitive in order to make pedestrians, cyclists, or other drivers just as safe as its own passengers.
Click here for more info on ESF 2019

Child Safety Seat:
It is one of the most important purchases you'll make for your child when you buy a car. A child safety seat is designed specifically to protect children from injury or death during collisions.
• All children aged 12 years and under should be seated in the appropriate child seat and positioned in the rear seat of the car.
• Airbags can kill young children riding in the front seat
• Never place a rear-facing car seat in the front seat or in front of an airbag
• Appropriate child seats should be used based on the child’s size and weight

Body in White (BiW):
A ‘Body in White' (BiW) passenger car exhibit highlights some of the core elements of a car structure which have a high tensile strength that can absorb most of the energy during a crash and minimize passenger car intrusions.

Alcohol Goggles:
Alcohol goggles provide a unique experience. Wearing these special types of glasses simulates the common ‘walk-the-line’ activity which causes loss of balance and delayed reaction times. Visitors will feel their susceptibility to impairments and realize the potential severe consequences due to alcohol consumption.


Road Safety in India
The United Nations announced the ‘Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-20’ with a goal to stabilize and reduce the forecast level of road traffic deaths around the world.
In India, since 2011, government initiatives like the National Road Safety Council (NRSC) by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highway (MoRTH) laid out countermeasures to improve road safety in India.
Apart from Mercedes-Benz SAFE ROADS, several companies in the auto industry have also begun creating awareness about road safety through various platforms as a part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR).
Also, with the introduction of the Good Samaritan Law that encourages people to come forward and administer immediate assistance to anyone in dire need, awareness about saving lives during the golden hour post a crash has had an influence as well.
Finally, the introduction of improved Motor Vehicle Act in India will ensure strict enforcement of traffic rules including levying hefty fines for over-speeding, reckless driving, Driving under the influence, overloading and load protruding, among other traffic violations.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), India witnessed the highest number of road traffic fatalities in 2016, and this made up about 20 percent of global road traffic fatalities. In 2017, a total of 4.6 lakh road accidents were reported which claimed about 1.47 lakh lives and left about 4.7 lakh injured. Incidents related to over-speeding contributed to about 70 percent of all accidents in 2017.
When 2011 was considered as a base year, the fatality trend will reach about 250,000 by the end of the year 2025 - if the trend is left unchecked. Thanks to the significant efforts in improving road safety awareness, strict enforcement, emergency care during golden hour, and improved reporting of road traffic deaths have resulted in fewer road traffic fatalities compared to the estimated values.
However, if 2017 is taken as the base year, the fatality trend will reach about 200,000 as shown in Figure. By 2025, the government can achieve a 70 percent fatality reduction if strict enforcement on over-speeding is achieved 100 percent.
On our end, we will continue to strive for safer roads, both by innovations in our cars and by raising awareness and sensitivity of people on the road.