Why Indians and Seatbelts are Frenemies?

  • Published On: 18 June 2019
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Why Indians and Seatbelts are Frenemies?

  • seatbelts

First things first, Indians and seatbelts don’t get along. Call it disregard for law, lack of respect for safety of fellow passengers, or the devil-may-care attitude, Indians continue to remain callous as far as seatbelts are concerned. Despite campaigns by government and auto industry running into millions of rupees, people in our country remain unconvinced of their utility as life-saving equipment. While new laws have now made it mandatory for front passengers to wear seatbelts under all circumstances, rear passengers still make full use of the vague security norms. And when it comes to penalization for violation of law, well, excuses galore! And some so hilarious and idiotic that you will be left scratching you head. We bring you five most used excuses that Maruti Suzuki found in its survey.

Where is the law?

When caught, most passengers claim innocence saying there is no such law in the country. The Indian motor vehicle laws only mandate the driver and co-driver to wear seatbelts while the rear passengers can be without them. Bizarre, right? The reason for the law being vague remains shrouded in mystery as an unsecured person in the rear seat can also hit the front passengers during accidents and cause some grave injuries.  

Seatbelts do not look good

We are not kidding! Some people actually said in the survey that wearing a seatbelt is not masculine enough. Around 40 percent respondents said that seatbelt is not good for their image. Well, it happens only in India. Even in this age of information revolution, many car drivers and passengers believe using seatbelt makes them look timid.  

No awareness

Again, ludicrous notions continue to pour in regarding seat belts. Some 34% respondents surveyed by Maruti Suzuki said that they do not think wearing a seatbelt will save them from injuries during accidents. Many do not even know how a seatbelt works and can protect them during accidents. Well, let us make it for them: A seatbelt secures the body of an occupant against the seat to minimize injuries during accident. Not wearing a seatbelt can throw the front passengers toward the windshield causing head injuries and the rear passengers hit the front passengers. It can be a gory image without the seatbelts in place during an accident.

Age and lifestyle

Well, no surprises here. Our younger generation usually stays away from seatbelts and for no good reason. Yes, no reason at all! 80% singles in the survey said that they do not like to wear seatbelts while 66% married people surveyed said the same thing. As many as 50% married couples without kids also do not like to wear seatbelts.

Crumpled clothes

Yes, we did keep the best for the last! Some 32 percent respondents in the survey said that seatbelts crumple the shirt and hence they choose not to wear them. Somebody please introduce them to seatbelt cushioning that has a soft cover to save shirts from crumbling.

Author: Sridhar@cartoq.com

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