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Six Airbags Mandatory For Passenger Cars
Feb 13, 2023

Mandatory 6 Airbags for Passenger Cars in India (Oct 2023) | Bajaj Allianz

Traffic officials, automobile companies, and motor insurers are trying to do everything in their capacity to ensure safety. As a citizen, you must drive responsibly and stay insured against all uncertainties on the road. In fact, the government takes continuous steps, so we do not fall prey to road mishaps. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways have introduced more airbags to make cars safer for passengers. While the six-airbag rule was supposed to come into effect on October 1, 2022, the deadline has been pushed ahead because the auto industry is dealing with global supply chain constraints. However, do we really need this rule? Continue reading to know why. This article focuses on how the 6-airbag rule has been devised for the passenger’s safety.

What is the six-airbag rule?

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has made six-airbags mandatory for passenger vehicles. This rule will apply to eight-seater passenger cars to make road travel safer. Due to the challenges faced in the global supply chain, this rule will be in effect from October 1, 2023. Initially, the officials wanted to roll it out in October 2022.

Are there any Possible challenges with the six-airbags rule?

While the 6-airbag rule significantly enhances the safety of the passengers in a car, it could stir up concerns regarding the budget. The inclusion of 6 airbags might lead to a rise in the price of motor vehicles. For instance, the cost of front airbags of an entry-level car range anywhere between Rs. 5,000 and Rs. 10,000. And curtain or side airbags could easily cost you double. If you add up the cost of including extra airbags, the car price will shoot up by Rs. 50,000, at the least. Moreover, so far, cars were not designed to encompass 6 airbags. Following the new rule means that automobile companies have to re-design and re-engineer cars to fit extra airbags.

How do airbags work?

A car comes with six to eight airbags with two airbags deployed to protect the driver and the co-passenger. Curtain airbags counter the side impact, while the knee airbag protects the bottom part of your body in the event of a collision. Airbags do not inflate upon electronic commands, instead, they use a chemical compound – sodium azide. When your car’s sensors detect any type of structural deformity, they transmit an electronic signal to the canister with sodium azide. This detonates an igniter compound that produces heat. The heat causes sodium azide to decompose into nitrogen gas, which then inflates the car’s airbags.

Importance of airbags

Motor vehicles have multiple safety features installed, so everyone in the car is safe in case of an accident. Airbags are one such feature. It is like a deflated cushion that inflates when your car senses collision or crash. Airbags ensure that your body doesn’t hit any part or object in the car to avoid serious injuries. Without airbags, the driver and the passenger could crash into different objects within the car such as the windshield, seat, dashboard, steering wheel, etc.

Are airbags safer than seatbelts?

Airbags and seatbelts work in tandem to offer the maximum possible safety during an accident. Though damages caused to the vehicle can be taken care of using a car insurance plan, ensuring the driver and passengers’ safety is the primary goal. Cars, generally, offer both seatbelts and airbags. One important thing to note is that airbags are triggered only if seatbelts are deployed. Hence, relying on only one feature wouldn’t be a great idea. Seat belts keep you intact to the seat, which means you won’t fly towards the dashboard or out of the vehicle. Combining the benefits of airbags and seatbelts will reduce the chances of fatal injuries.

Are airbags covered in your insurance policy?

Whether airbags are covered under your car insurance depends on the type of policy you choose. A third party car insurance plan does not cover your car’s airbags. However, if you have a comprehensive car insurance policy, you can breathe easy. However, you might not receive full compensation because the rate of depreciation applies to airbags as well. * Standard T&C Apply

To sum it up

Any modifications in the traffic rules will only make your experience better. With a car insurance plan and a car with top-notch safety features, you can ply on Indian roads without worrying about the worst-case scenarios. However, every time you choose to buy or renew your policy, do not forget to use a car insurance premium calculator to avail the best deal online. Insurance is the subject matter of solicitation. For more details on benefits, exclusions, limitations, terms, and conditions, please read the sales brochure/policy wording carefully before concluding a sale.  

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