Last week a resident of Port St. Lucie, Florida, was involved in a traffic accident. Because her car was equipped with the Ford Emergency Assistance safety feature – which uses sensors to detect a sudden change of speed or movement – an emergency call was automatically placed to first responders. Those first responders then used the global positioning system installed in her car to determine her location and contact her.
Audio recordings recently released by Port St. Lucie authorities show that she tried to deny that an accident had occurred. When asked what had taken place, she said “Ma’am, there’s no problem. Everything was fine.”
The first responder who contacted her was doubtful, replying with this: “OK, but your car called in saying you’d been involved in an accident. It doesn’t do that for no reason. Did you leave the scene of an accident?”
“No, I would never do that,” she replied.
First responders investigated the situation and discovered that one of the drivers she struck – she rear-ended two vehicles – had been taken to the hospital with minor injuries. Thanks to the Emergency Assistance feature, police were able to track her down and make the arrest.
Of course, emergency assistance technology isn’t only about catching offenders – it’s also key in helping first responders more quickly reach people seriously hurt in traffic accidents. In fact, studies have estimated that having an emergency assist system installed in a vehicle can speed up first responder response time by 50 percent. That’s why the European Union recently passed legislation requiring that all cars sold in Europe after March 2018 be outfitted with this kind of technology.