Automotive safety isn’t something many car buyers actively think about. Yes, many do understand its need and importance, but few experience it. Road accidents in India are far from rare, and in fact, they are among the world’s highest, according to reports. Similarly, our neighbor, Nepal, also records a large number of road accidents. Given its dangerous terrain and narrow roads, Nepal certainly has some of the most dangerous motoring passes in the world. In such situations, motorist can find themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place. Presumably, this is what seems to have transpired for those onboard a Tata Altroz. Just some days ago, there was a news that mentioned a car had fallen into a ravine somewhere in Nepal.
As you can see in the pictures, the car in question is a golden Tata Altroz. It is not entirely clear how the car ended up in such a biblical position, but it sure makes for a chilling photo. What makes this even more spine-tingling is the fact that the only thing holding the car in place is a rather slender tree. The drop from, what was presumably a paved surface, to its final resting place must have been further up the steep terrain. This means that the Altroz likely rolled a couple of times and slammed into the tree, facing straight up. From the pictures it becomes clear that, if it weren’t for that tree, the carnage could have been much worse.
An even more important takeaway from this is that, if this wasn’t a 5-star GNCAP-rated car, the end result would have been tragic. The Tata Altroz has been enjoying much limelight, owing primarily to its Global NCAP 5-star crash-safety rating. If you must know how such a car performs in the unadulterated (and usually more challenging) real-world situations, here’s the example. While the accident could have been down to human error and/or other factors, the car did its part. That part being the most vital – keeping its occupants away from paying the ultimate price. Yes, this accident did take place in Nepal. But the Altroz sold there is exported from India. This means that the safety standards here are identical and fully comparable.
The pictures clearly show some of the damage that the Altroz endured during its fall. The deformable hood has been badly impacted, ditto for the front passenger door. However, the roof and the door pillars haven’t given up the ghost, retaining their structural integrity. This meant that the occupants weren’t crushed upon final impact, and the doors opened too. While the front passenger door might not have opened, the doors on the driver’s side seems perfectly fine. It is not a great feeling to be stuck inside a car in such a precarious position, especially after an accident. So the fact that the occupants could get out without further event is fantastic. The whole event does show how important crash ratings are, and that safety can never be compromised.
It is all hunky-dory to have a flashy new car that comes loaded with cool convenience features. However, ensuring that it is actually safe for you and your loved ones is a lot more important. In the case of the Altroz, Tata has equipped with several safety kit as well. These include Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD), Corner Stability Control (CBC), and dual front airbags. Of course, these features are available on all variants of the Altroz, irrespective of their price. There is also a collapsible steering column, front seatbelts with load-limiters, ISOFIX anchorages, and impact-sensing auto door unlock. Of these, the latter definitely aided the occupants in escaping the doomed vehicle.
In cases such as these, car doors can get jammed due to the high-impact nature of the event. This makes opening the doors a painstaking and an almost impossible task. However, when the car is equipped with impact-sensing door locks, the chances of the locks failing are low. On top of that, the strong bodyshell of the Tata Altroz prevented the doors from getting stuck. If that had happened, it would have trapped the occupants in the cabin – leaving far less hope of an escape. I think you and I both know of certain cars that wouldn’t have fared so well under similar circumstances. But irrespective of how safe your car might be, ultimately, you are responsible for its and its occupants’ safety.