A new Emergency call system to be installed on all new cars

Once set off, the system dials the European emergency number 112, establishes a telephone link to the appropriate emergency call centre and sends details of the accident

From March 31st all new models of cars and vans sold in the EU  will have to be equipped with the new eCall life-saving system writes Geraldine Herbert

The 60 minutes following a crash are vital time for road traffic victims. Known as the “golden hour” your chances of survival increases dramatically if trained professionals can treat you within this time period.

What is E-call?
An new Automatic Emergency Call (eCall) which can automatically alert emergency services in the event of a crash and provide accurate location data is being introduced from March 31st. All new vehicle types, sold in Europe, will have to be fitted with this life-saving technology.

What will the impact be?
It is expected that emergency services’ response time will be reduced by 50% in rural areas and 40% in urban areas, leading to a reduction of fatalities estimated at up to 1,500 saved lives per year.

How does it work?
eCall in-vehicle system automatically dials 112 in the event of a serious road accident This enables the response team to decide immediately on the type and size of rescue operation needed, which in turn helps them to arrive faster, save lives, reduce the severity of injuries and cut the cost of traffic jams.

What if the driver is unconscious?
Even if the driver is unconscious or unable to make a phone call. An eCall can also be triggered manually by pushing a button in the car, for example by a witness of a serious accident.

What happens to your data?
The system was due to be introduced in 2015 but due to privacy concerns was delayed. Under the new provisions, the automatic call would only provide emergency services with minimum basic data such as the type of vehicle, the fuel used, the time and exact location of the accident, and the number of passengers. The data must not be transferred to third parties without the explicit consent of the data subject. Manufacturers will also need to ensure that the design of eCall technology allows the data collected to be permanently and permanently erased.


Geraldine Herbert

27th March, 2018

Author: Geraldine Herbert

Motoring Editor and Columnist for the Sunday Independent and editor of wheelsforwomen. Geraldine is also a regular contributor to Good Housekeeping (UK), EuroNews and to RTÉ, Newstalk, TodayFM, BBC Radio and Vigin Media. You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

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