The color, the brand, the dashboard design, the sound system… The emotion when choosing a car changes the order of priorities that should be had when deciding. Traveling in a car has become so common that we forget how important safety standards are in the event of an accident. Worldwide, nearly 1.3 million people die as a result of a traffic accident, which is equivalent to 3,500 deaths a day, and more than half of them were not traveling by car. In Mexico, “these claim the lives of around 16,000 people each year, being the second cause of death between the ages of 5 and 34,” according to a report by the New Vehicle Evaluation Program for Latin America and the Caribbean ( Latin NCAP) carried out annually.
There is a paradox in all this. According to the aforementioned report, Mexico is the seventh vehicle producing country worldwide; 88.9% of production is exported and meets international safety standards. In contrast, consumers in the country are sold cars with such low safety levels that in other nations it would even be illegal to purchase them. The ideal security systems for any private vehicle are the following:
- Three-point seat belts for all passengers and their anchorages
- Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
- Child Restraint System Anchors (Isofix or LATCH)
- Pole Side Impact Test
- First-generation Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) (2013+)
- Advanced Emergency Braking System (AEBS)
- Pedestrian Protection
- Tire pressure monitoring or “TPMS”
- Adaptive front lights.
- Lane Departure Warning System
- Black box (Event Data Recorder)
- Intelligent Speed Adaptation
- Adaptive Cruise Control
- Child Restraint System (CRS)
Latin NCAP recommends considering at least six safety devices. Electronic Stability Control (ESC), ABS brakes, three-point seat belts, airbags (#AB), headrests and child restraint system (SRI). The ten best-selling cars in Mexico in 2023, which is equivalent to cheaper vehicles, have some of these measures. The cost to obtain a safer car “ranges between 20,000 and 90,000 pesos additional to the price of a car; while, it can cost manufacturers around 10,000 Mexican pesos to install these systems. For this reason, families with fewer resources buy the cheapest models, which are also the least safe, putting their lives, health and physical integrity at risk, to which they are entitled, as mandated by our Constitution,” the report adds.
The cars are listed below and only the safety features they do have are included:
The Versa has Electronic Stability Control (ESC), ABS brakes, six airbags, child restraint system (CRS), three-point seat belts and autonomous emergency braking.
specific Latin NCAP; “Although this information has been obtained both from the Administrative Registry of the Automotive Industry (INEGI) and from the report of the Mexican Association of AC Automotive Distributors (AMADA), the sales of the Versa model reported include those of the V-Drive model , which does not have Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) and we do not know what proportion of the total units sold corresponds to each model.”
Unlike the Versa, this model has seven airbags, but lacks autonomous emergency braking.
It only has three of the minimum requirements, in addition to three-point seat belts, it has among its features Electronic Stability Control (ESC), ABS brakes and six airbags.
Kia Rio Sedan
Similar to the Nissan March, it has three safety measures: ABS brakes, two airbags and a Child Restraint System (CRS).
Nissan NP 300
It has only three safety devices: ABS brakes, three-point seat belts and two airbags.
The following cars have the same five safety systems – ESC, ABS brakes, SRI, seat belts and airbags – but the number of these varies. The MG Motor MG5, Nissan Sentra and Mazda 2 cars have six; Renault Kwid with four; and Chevrolet GM Aveo with two.
Since there is no correct regulation in the country, there is no near end to this problem. The responsibility for choosing correctly falls almost entirely on the user.
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