Road Safety – Should You Buy a Car without ABS and Dual Airbags


Roads and Transport Authority is trying its best to enhance road safety and enforce law, so number of traffic accidents can be reduced. It is worth mentioning, Emirates retain one of the best and well-maintained road networks in the world. Unfortunately, the road-related annual mortality rate is still very high; highest next only to Saudi Arabia and Oman. All the three neighbouring nations need lots of work to improve road safety standards.

Traffic authorities can only go to an extent to alleviate the risks of accidents, but the fact cannot be denied that the car safety systems also play a major role to attain the desired road safety goal. Automakers spend a great fortune on research and deployment of road safety standards in their automobiles.

The new findings by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) indicate that modern cars have improved incredibly in the past two decades, considerably controlling rate of accidents and post-impact deaths. The institute is also playing its role helping customers choose  safest cars by determining and ranking vehicles based on their crash test results. But how those security measures have worked out so far? According to IIHS report, they recorded 28 driver deaths per million in 2011 model vehicles compared to 48 deaths in 2008 models, which is a fair progress.

Talking about Arabian roads, where highway speed limits are very high (up to 160 km/h in Emirates) ensuring car safety becomes more significant. At a high velocity, if one vehicle gets out of control, it may take dozens others down with it. Generally, cheaper and smaller cars are the worst guardians for their passengers, while the most advanced vehicles better protect the travellers, but they come at a good price. Arabs are generally rich people and they do rate the value of life much higher than the value of the property. The car buyers are willing to pay the price, but they must know which cars are the safest to drive.

We understand that an automobile must own the mandatory features which could ensure maximum road safety. It must possess at least two airbags, Antilock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Stability System (ESC) etc. While ESC can be missed, we should not undermine the importance of dual airbags and ABS. Here are few cars that lag imparting these features in their security system.


2011 and equivalent earlier models, 2009-12

Kia Rio Sedan

The Kia Rio minicar is getting good sales. On the other hand, it is also leading the list with the highest death rate of 149 per million-cars/year. The car is small, stylish and cheap, so it is readily bought. The standard and mid-range versions extend just one airbag for the driver and lacks second airbag as well as Antilock Brake System. Alternatively, the Nissan Micra offers both the features within the same price.

Hyundai Accent

The Hyundai Accent 1.4 is a 4-door mini car with 120 deaths reported. It is included among three vehicles, having a death rate of over 100 per million-cars/year. Unfortunately, it does not offer ABS and has only one airbag. You can get these features in a standard Nissan Sunny, for the same price.

Here’s the complete list:

  1. Kia Rio (4-door car, mini): 149
  2. Nissan Versa sedan (4-door car, small): 130
  3. Hyundai Accent (4-door car, mini): 120
  4. Chevrolet Aveo (4-door car, mini): 99
  5. Hyundai Accent (2-door car, mini): 86
  6. Chevrolet Camaro coupe (sports car, large) 80
  7. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew 4WD (pickup, large): 79
  8. Honda Civic (2-door car, small): 76
  9. Nissan Versa hatchback (4-door car, small): 71
  10. Ford Focus (4-door car, small): 70
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