How Cyrus Mistry’s Car Crashed And The Role Of Seat Belts

Cyrus Mistry, 54, was travelling in a Mercedes GLC Sports Utility Vehicle.

New Delhi:

A day after Cyrus Mistry’s death in a car crash near Mumbai, investigators and experts tried to piece together what caused the accident and how it impacted the four people travelling in the car at the time.

Cyrus Mistry, 54, was travelling in a Mercedes GLC Sports Utility Vehicle with Darius Pandole, a former independent director in the Tata Group, his wife Anahita Pandole and brother Jehangir Pandole when the accident took place.

The car was smashed after it hit a road divider at high speed, killing the two people in the backseat, Cyrus Mistry and Jehangir Pandole.

A video shows the interior of the car. Its airbags deployed upon impact, as they are designed to do.

Four airbags could be seen – two airbags to help save the front passengers and the blue-coloured side-curtain airbags, which appear to have deployed on only one side of the car. That indicated that the sensors detected stress on only one side.

Cyrus Mistry and Jehangir Pandole were not wearing seat belts, according to sources. Airbags in vehicles are considered a Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) – they work only in conjunction with seat belts.

In India, very few wear seat belts in the backseat.

Reacting to Cyrus Mistry’s death, industrialist Anand Mahindra tweeted a pledge that “we all owe our families.”

“I resolve to always wear my seat belt even when in the rear seat of the car. And I urge all of you to take that pledge too. We all owe it to our families,” Anand Mahindra, the chairman of the Mahindra Group, wrote.

A video shows an accident at a speed of 40 km per hour and the impact on the passenger wearing a belt versus the one not wearing it. The passenger in the rear seat not wearing the seat belt is thrown forward – slamming into the passenger in the front. The passenger in the rear seat who is belted remains secure.

The Mercedes SUV that Cyrus Mistry was travelling in is a vehicle that has been extensively tested, including by Global NCAP, the premier crash testing facility in the world.

A video from December 2015 shows a frontal impact at 64 km/h with 40 per cent of the car striking a deformable barrier. It also shows a full-width test with 100 per cent of the width of the car impacting a rigid barrier at 50 km/h. It proves that the passengers can survive such an accident if the passengers in the front and the rear were wearing seatbelts.

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