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 ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Advancement

This is the seventh year of the EMS 10 Innovators in EMS program, jointly sponsored by Physio-Control and JEMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Press Conference, East Village Explosion and Collapse

Fire is contained to four buildings; 12 people have been injured.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Mayor Adds Ambulances to Peak Demand Period

10 additional ambulances will be on the streets from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Utah Commission Privatizes Ambulance Service

Mayors in Iron County loose management fight.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Ambulance Delay Raises Concerns over Response Times

Officers give up after waiting 20 minutes for an ambulance.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Patient Carry during Snowstorm

Firefighters, medics and officers lend a hand in Halifax.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Terror Attack in Tunisia

19 people killed outside of a museum.
More >