Rising SUV Sale Detrimental To Road Safety In India, Says NCAP Chief

Last Updated: December 09, 2023, 14:30 IST

Rising SUV Sale Detrimental To Road Safety In India, Says NCAP Chief. (Photo: Kia)

David Ward made the above statement while addressing the three-day Global Road Safety Initiative event.

The sale of Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) is increasing globally, including in India. The head of the Global New Car Assessment Programme (Global NCAP) has recently voiced concerns about this developing trend.

“India needs to stop selling more SUVs like the US is doing to reduce the number of accidents on its roads, which endangers cyclists, pedestrians, and occupants of other small cars,” said David Ward, Executive president of Global NCAP while interacting with ET Auto.

“Recent studies in various countries have shown that the car industry’s relentless push to sell ever larger and heavier SUVs in every segment is bad news for road safety, but particularly for those driving smaller, more efficient vehicles, and vulnerable road users. It’s critically important for countries like India that the government push the market towards vehicles that are fit for purpose and safer for all road users,” David Ward added.

Reportedly, David Ward made the above statement while addressing the three-day Global Road Safety Initiative event organised by the Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE), in partnership with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India, and association with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).

During the IRTE meeting, David Ward, Executive President of Global NCAP, mentioned that SUVs pose more serious risks to pedestrians than conventional hatchbacks and sedans. He went on to say that because of their higher bonnets or hoods, SUVs cause more upper-body injuries to pedestrians in the event of a collision. As a result, pedestrian fatalities are more common in SUV collisions than in other car body styles.

The Global NCAP chief is concerned about the rising trends and sales of SUVs in India, particularly in light of the low level of traffic awareness in the nation. He thinks that carmakers’ promotion of more massive and weighty SUVs in a variety of market segments would hurt traffic safety, especially for pedestrians and smaller cars.

David Ward has urged governments to discourage the sale of SUVs with large hoods. His statement comes at a time when not only SUV sales but also road accidents are on the rise. Nearly 1 lakh of the 1.68 lakh road accident fatalities in 2022 involved two-wheeler riders and pedestrians.

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