BMW Safety System Calculates Injury Rate - @ JEMS.com


BMW Safety System Calculates Injury Rate

Responders told what to expect in victims


 
 

Chris Woodyard | | Friday, January 9, 2009


Automaker BMW will announce this weekend a new direction in car safety protection with a system that calculates for emergency responders the likelihood of severe injuries in a crash.

Sensors in all 2009 BMWs except the M3 now can assess car damage and other factors, data that experts say can be crucial to letting arriving firefighters and paramedics know what to expect and where they should be prepared to take the injured.

"This could save thousands of lives," says Jeffrey Augenstein, a physician who is director of the William Lehman Injury Research Center that worked with BMW.

Part of the next wave of safety technology from automakers, this system is aimed at a relatively recent problem: Because of today's air bags and other passive safety systems, victims may not have the obvious external signs of major injuries.

If the car can tell rescuers how bad the crash was, they can better assess whether someone might have major, but less obvious, internal injuries.

Systems such as General Motors' OnStar already can sense a crash and its site, and report it to authorities. BMW's system uses sensors and an algorithm to determine crash severity on a 1-to-100 scale. Factors include deceleration level, seat belt use, impact direction and whether the crash involved multiple objects. A rating above 20 signals the call center that potential injuries should be considered major. An unbelted driver who hits one object at 27 mph has a 20% chance of injury. Hitting more than one object raises odds to 56%, the Lehman center estimates.

The new system also is important because the BMW Assist response center cannot reach the driver over the two-way talk system in up to 14% of accidents, says Peter Baur, BMW's product analysis manager.

Since 2006, OnStar has been able to give its operators data on accident force and angle and whether the vehicle rolled over, among other things, OnStar President Chet Huber says. While he thinks BMW's system is different, but not necessarily better than OnStar, he welcomes all efforts to create safer cars.

It's a step "toward every vehicle being able to help" in a serious accident, Huber says.

The system is in keeping with a study group by the Centers for Disease Control's Injury Center to see how rescuers can take advantage of the advanced telemetry being built into cars.

The goal is to "make sure the (victim) gets to the right place in the right amount of time," says Dr. Richard Hunt, director of the Division of Injury Response.




Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Specialty Vehicles

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Improving Survival from Cardiac Arrest Using ACD-CPR + ITD

Using active compression-decompression CPR with an ITD has been shown to improve 1-year survival from cardiac arrest by 33%.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Philadelphia Fire Department Apologizes for Medic’s Jab at Police

Union head calls photos a slap in the face of officers.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Fire and EMS Crews Blame New Technology for Patient’s Death

Delayed response blamed on recurring dispatch problems.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Suspect Steals, Crashes Maryland Ambulance

One killed, others injured in Prince George’s County crash.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Truck Strikes Pedestrians in Scotland

Six killed in downtown Glasgow.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Tennessee Trench Rescue

Worker pulled from Roane County worksite.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Time’s Ebola Firefighters

Doctors, nurses and others saluted for fighting virus.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


More Product Videos >