America News: GM, OnStar and Michigan University Med School start pilot program

America News: GM, OnStar and Michigan University Med School start pilot program

General Motors, OnStar and the University of Michigan Medical School are working together to collect crash and injury data that could lead to engineering safer cars and trucks and getting the right kind of help to a crash scene.

The Advanced Automotive Safety Research Study, which began earlier this month, asks people involved in certain kinds of crashes – whether or not they were injured – to confidentially share their personal medical records with safety researchers trying to understand how well restraint systems can mitigate crash injuries.

"There is enormous life-saving potential in what we could learn from having real injury data that we can compare with data from a real-world crash," said Beth Lowery, GM vice president of environment, energy & safety policy.

OnStar's Advanced Automatic Crash Notification data is transmitted to an OnStar advisor in severe crashes, regardless of whether an air bag is deployed, and can help improve the understanding of crashes. AACN technology also transmits whether the crashed vehicle rolled over, whether there was more than one impact and where on the vehicle the impact(s) occurred.

"By inspecting the data, we can look for specific collision types and use real-time data about collision dynamics to begin to understand occupant injury and examine improvements in the prevention and treatment of collision-related injuries," said Bob Lange, GM executive director of structure & safety integration.

One focus of the study will be on rollover crashes and specifically how well rollover-capable side curtain air bags performed. Rollovers account for only about 3% of all roadway crashes, but almost 33% of all highway deaths.

The results of the study will provide first responders with information about the pattern and severity of injuries to expect in certain types of crashes.

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