Time and again, we have brought you real life videos of motorcyclists escaping major crashes all thanks to ABS, or anti-lock braking system. And it’s not just motorcycles that benefit from this life saving safety feature. Cars, which have had ABS for more than a couple of decades now, also benefit greatly from ABS. Here is a real life example of a Mahindra XUV500 SUV having a narrow miss at high speed. If not for ABS, the fate of this Mahindra XUV500 an its occupants could have been a lot different.
As the video from the dashcam footage indicates, a Mahindra XUV500, in top-spec W10 trim, is seen traveling at high speed on the National Highway 17, which runs across the west coast of India. Somewhere near Mangalore, the Mahindra XUV500 is driving at high speed just ahead of a junction.
There’s a Toyota Innova that suddenly decides to cross the road at the junction, causing the approaching Mahindra XUV500’s driver to slam on the brakes and bring the SUV to a halt just a foot or two away from the Toyota Innova.
Who’s at fault here?
1. The Toyota Innova driver who decides to drive across the road at the junction unmindful of the approaching traffic. It’s sheer stupidity on the part of the Innova driver, who could have been involved in a major accident had the XUV500 not applied brakes on time, and if there was no ABS to stop the heavy SUV within a short distance.
2. The Mahindra XUV500 driver, who despite clearly knowing of a junction ahead, failing to slow down adequately. Although the XUV500 had the right of way in this case, not slowing for a junction is downright dangerous in a country like India where other road users often flout rules. For his own safety and well being, the XUV500 should have slowed down adequately at the junction rather than trying to speed across it.
In this case, ABS has acted by reducing the braking distance. On a non-ABS equipped vehicle, slamming the brakes in an emergency will lead to the wheels of a vehicle getting locked, and the vehicle going into a skid, often uncontrollably. ABS prevents the wheels from getting locked even if the driver slams on the brakes in an emergency, and allows the driver to steer around an obstacle if required. This is why ABS is such a life saver. The safety feature not only shortens braking distance but also allows the driver to actively avoid an obstacle even under hard braking.
ABS will soon become mandatory on every car sold in India. From October 2019. Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Program (BNVSAP) norms kick in, which mandate that every car sold in India be equipped with speed alerts, seat belt reminders, ABS, Airbags and reverse parking sensors. Also, every two wheeler with an engine capacity of 125cc+ will have to be equipped with a single channel ABS as standard. This crucial safety feature is expected to save thousands of lives each year in India, a country where road accidents kill hundreds of people each day.