Tata Altroz, Nexon Crash Into Temples In Two Separate Accidents
With no injuries or casualties reported, these cars do live up to their reputation of safety
Tata cars have a proven record for safety, backed by Global NCAP ratings as well as owner accounts. Here we have two separate incidents where Tata cars crashed into temple property, possibly owing to the drivers’ negligence. Fortunately, no passerby or vehicle occupants were hurt.
In the first incident, a Tata Altroz driver rammed onto a temple structure in the Alappuzha district in Kerala. It drove off the road and past a temple boundary wall and stopped when it hit a heavy sculpture just outside the main temple building. Fortunately, the temple premises were deserted when the crash took place. Eyewitnesses said that three passengers were in the car, and they jumped out and ran after the crash, likely with no major injuries. They were returning from Shiv Ratri celebration when apparently the driver fell asleep. The accident could have been much worse if the temple was crowded or if the car had hit a more robust obstacle.
Looking at the damage, it seems like the driver was inexperienced and made no attempts to stop the car before it hit the building. The temporary registration stickers in the number plate housings tell us that this was a brand-new car. The absence of fog lamps suggests that it is likely an XM or XM+ variant. After the crash, the Altroz was left with a mangled bonnet, broken front bumper and extensive underbody damage which is mostly hidden in the pictures. The passenger compartment seems stable and both airbags were deployed. It is likely that even the doors could be opened.
A Tata Nexon with a temporary Rajasthan registration was involved in a similar accident with temple property. This time, the Nexon crashed into a shrine at the temple gate in an offset head-on crash. It sustained extensive front end damage, with a deformed bumper, smashed grille and dented curbside fender. This, too, was a showroom-fresh car that had just been in for a new-car pooja ceremony. You can see the auspicious red Swastika and the dealership-provided tiny blue bow on the bonnet.
We can’t tell what could have been the cause of this accident. It may have been unintended acceleration or a failed manoeuvre on the dirt track visible in the pictures. Either way, only the driver can be blamed for this incident. We recommend taking some time to get used to the dynamics and engine response of a new car, especially when driving on loose surfaces.
Both the Altroz and Nexon have received a full five-star rating from the Global New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) for adult occupant safety. The hatchback and the sub-4-metre SUV are equipped with dual front airbags, ABS and rear parking sensors. In the Tata Nexon, you also get an electronic stability program (ESP) and traction control as standard.
If there’s one thing to take away from these two accidents, it is this: there is no replacement, in terms of infrastructure or automotive safety technology, for a prudent human driver’s vigilance. Newbie drivers can find driving a brand new powerful vehicle intimidating. Mistakes such as pedal error (mistaking the accelerator for the brake, for example) or abrupt clutch engagement can cause sudden, unintentional acceleration. It is best to take things slow with a new car so that you get time to become accustomed to the car’s abilities.
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