“Safe Roads” travelling exhibition opens in New Delhi
Stuttgart/New Delhi. Mercedes-Benz is looking to increase awareness of road safety in India with the “Safe Roads” touring exhibition. Jochen Feese, Head of Accident Research, Sensor Functions and Pedestrian Protection at Mercedes-Benz Cars, inaugurated the interactive road show in New Delhi in late April. Photos, research reports and physical experiments provide visitors with a tangible experience of vehicle safety. A great many of the exhibits come from Germany, among them the ESF 2009 research vehicle. After starting in the Indian capital, the exhibition will be staged in Ahmedabad next. Over the course of the year, “Safe Roads” will also be on view in Pune, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore.
Some 140,000 people die every year on India’s roads – to a large extent because safety standards and rules are being ignored. More than 70 percent of these traffic fatalities could be prevented in the next ten years through education, increased awareness of road safety and strict compliance with safety rules, according to estimates of the experts of JP Research, Apollo Hospitals and IIT Delhi. These partner organisations are supporting the “Safe Roads” initiative by Mercedes-Benz with data and future scenarios.
“Safety is a core value of the Mercedes-Benz brand,” said Jochen Feese in his speech at the opening of the exhibition. “All of the companies of the corporate group are working on making vehicles even safer – to the benefit of passengers as well as other road users. In light of the high accident rate and the many traffic victims, we have started the “Safe Roads” initiative. We hope that it will mark the beginning of a new era of road safety and will establish the topic firmly in the public mind of the Indian population.”
The road show was opened in the presence of the heads of three Daimler companies in India: Eberhard Kern, Mercedes-Benz India Ltd.(MBIL) with headquarters in Pune, responsible for the production and sales of Mercedes-Benz passenger cars; Erich Nesselhauf, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) in Chennai, which is responsible for the commercial vehicle business in India under the BharatBenz brand; and Manu Saale, Mercedes-Benz Research and Development India (MBRDI), Bangalore, the largest Mercedes-Benz development centre outside Germany.
A great number of the “Safe Roads” exhibits come from Germany, among them the body shell of a passenger car with crash structure and restraint systems such as airbags and seat belts. The ESF 2009 experimental safety vehicle shows more than a dozen safety innovations, some of which are operable in a demonstration mode.
In addition, visitors can experience what kind of forces act on them even in an impact at a low speed. Special spectacles simulate how difficult it is to keep your balance under the influence of alcohol and how it slows down reaction times.
There are many causes for the large number of traffic fatalities in India. As a study shows, these include the low rate of seat belt use (16 percent) and driver behaviour in critical situations: in 50 percent of all accidents there were no attempts made to avoid the crash. Drivers executed braking or evasive manoeuvres in just 30 percent of the accidents.