You’ve been in a collision – now what?! Accidents happen in 150 milliseconds – that’s 0.15 of a second, but the results can be everlasting. Once a collision has occurred, occupants can be left feeling dazed, confused, and even seriously injured, and with minimal ability to move. Often times, you may not even be aware of where you are in order to call for help.
Manufacturers are realizing what a scary experience accidents can be, and that's how advances such as OnStar came to be. It provides subscription-based features ranging from the convenient hands-free calling, turn-by-turn navigation, stolen vehicle tracking and even remote vehicle diagnostics to the most assuring - Automatic Crash Response. I would personally subscribe to OnStar, and it’s almost like insurance. I hope to never be in a serious collision to need it but if I’m ever in that situation, I would be thankful to have the OnStar service.
We took the opportunity to visit OnStar’s Command Center and learned a bit more about what they do. OnStar receives a notification when your vehicle has been involved in a collision and automatically connects you to trained representatives that possess the same skill sets as a 911-emergency dispatcher. They work with local authorities to get assistance to your location immediately, while providing medical instructions to those in the vehicle. OnStar also has the ability to activate your lights and alarm to signal for help, work with police to locate your vehicle and disengage your vehicle in the event it’s stolen, and even provide diagnostics about your vehicle!
Overlooking Detroit, 522 feet high, we toured the OnStar Command Center, where thousands of calls come through daily. We listened to past calls that showcased the various scenarios that OnStar can assist with, and how a scary situation was resolved with a seamlessly happy ending. In one scenario, a family was travelling down a dark, deserted rural road, hit a patch of ice and skid off the road ending up in a body of water. OnStar was automatically connected and immediately contacted emergency response units. The representative was able to hear the sirens as the ambulance approached the scene, and then hear the sirens pass. The OnStar representative was able to contact them, let them know that they had passed the scene and even sounded the horn and lights of the vehicle to draw their attention. All occupants survived and are OK – but it’s very easy to see how this situation could have ended very differently.
Inside the Command Center, displayed on a giant screen, we were able to see a map that laid out where calls to OnStar were deriving from, and what their purpose was. As you can see, at approximately 1:45pm, more than 72,000 calls had been received!
Collisions are a scary event, but a fact of life that many of us have or may experience at some point. With the ongoing advances of manufacturers like Chevrolet, they are becoming easier to avoid, safer to experience and less scary overall.