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Better safe than sorry

Supplementary Restraint System - Airbags are plastic bags located in the steering wheel and dashboard of a car, which balloon out to protect the driver and front seat passenger in case of a frontal collision.

     Print Edition: April 3, 2011

SRS - Airbags
Supplementary Restraint System - Airbags are plastic bags located in the steering wheel and dashboard of a car, which balloon out to protect the driver and front seat passenger in case of a frontal collision. They are another source of protection in the event of an accident, along with the seat belts provided. In fact, if an airbag deploys while the passenger is not wearing a seat belt, it could cause him additional injuries. Airbags are also a reason why car companies abroad advise parents not to seat children in the front seat as children run a risk of suffocation from them.

TCS/ASR
The Traction Control System or the Anti-Slip Regulation takes ABS a few steps further. It is a standard feature in all-performance cars and also on all luxury vehicles available in India. When a driver puts power to the wheels in very slippery road conditions, a vehicle could simply spin out of control particularly if it has a powerful engine. The system prevents this by regulating the amount of power that reaches each wheel. In really advanced cars, this works in conjunction with engine computers, which could limit the amount of throttle that a driver can apply.

-Kushan Mitra

ABS
The Anti-Lock Braking System is one of the first additional safety features now available on most mid-size vehicles and small cars, though it was initially developed for aircraft. While many in India do not see the need to invest in ABS for their vehicles, this technology is on the verge of being made mandatory in several countries. ABS improves the braking effectiveness of a car dramatically. It does so by not allowing the wheels of the car to lock when brakes are applied, by varying the amount of braking force on the wheels depending on the conditions. This is particularly helpful when a vehicle is turning or on a slippery surface. While this feature is not mandatory in Indian cars, those buying new cars should definitely go in for it.

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