According to the US Department of Transportation, there are approximately 33,000 motor vehicle deaths each year in this country. When an accident results in serious injuries, the speed with which emergency responders reach the victim(s) has a direct impact on their chance of recovery and survival. Response time has become much quicker in the last decade, with many people having some type of smartphone or similar device on them at all times. As long as cell reception is strong enough, and someone in the vehicle is conscious and able to reach the device, it is possible to call, text, or email for help.
But what if any of those factors are not present? What if the accident occurs in a rural area with no cell service? What if the victim is unconscious or the cell phone is out of reach? In these situations, an automatic crash notification (ACN) system could save the victim’s life. Contact a Boston Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer Today.
Advanced Features Provide More Detailed Information
General Motor’s OnStar service was the first ACN to arrive on the market in the late 90s, however, today’s systems are much more sophisticated. Newer ACN systems include advanced features, such as the ability to transmit details specific to the crash and vehicle. For example, information including changes in vehicle speed, the direction of impact, and even whether or not a seatbelt was being used, can all be relayed to the operator. This allows the operator to more accurately assess the situation and determine what kind of emergency services to dispatch. Due to their advanced features, the newer systems are called advanced automatic crash notification (AACN) systems.
The Golden Hour
According to Stephen Ridella, director of the Office of Vehicle Crashworthiness Research for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), up to 300 lives are saved every year due to AACN systems. Time is of the essence following a serious motor vehicle accident. A lot of crash victims die en route to the hospital. “There’s something called a ‘golden hour’ where if you get a person to a physician within one hour [of a serious injury] their chance of survival goes up a lot,” said Ridella. In addition to quicker response time, AACN systems allow emergency workers to arrive at the scene equipped with knowledge and important information about the crash. In some instances, this information can tell responders if an ambulance or a helicopter will reach the victim(s) faster.
There are several types of ACN and AACN systems on the market, and they vary based on the manufacturer. Some systems call a service operator who reaches out to the appropriate emergency responders when necessary, while others use Bluetooth to contact 911 directly. Ridella hopes that more vehicle manufacturers will realize the benefits of ACNs and begin to make this life-saving technology more available. “We won’t rate cars differently for not having it but we want to make the industry aware that we believe this technology can save lives,” said Ridella.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Boston’s Motor Vehicle Accident Law Firm
As we enter the winter months, even fender benders can be dangerous. Getting stuck late at night, when the temperatures have dropped, can spell disaster if you can’t reach anyone for help in a timely manner. Crash notification systems can be immensely helpful in these situations. And when accidents result in serious injuries, they can save lives. If you’ve been injured in any type of motor vehicle accident, the legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help you understand your rights and options. The more documentation and information you obtain, the better your chance of recovering damages. ACN systems can provide a wealth of information in the event of an accident. This may help you prove your case and obtain compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other related costs. Contact us today for a free consultation about your case.