Is On-Star Crash Response really a safety device/feature?

toyota
camry

#1

GM is marketing On-Star as a safety feature. My theory is On-Star is NOT a safety feature. My reasoning is this. Safety is avoiding the incident or accident. On-Star crash detection and response is more like a damage control/mitigation act. Sort of like safety is gripping the bottle firmly, and On-Star is the mop coming in to clean up the mess you just made by not gripping firmly. Or am I way off base here?


#2

Sorry, I meant to post this in the General Discussion but got it here instead :wink:


#3

Splitting some pretty fine hairs here…if it results in quicker response to an accident, then it’s increasing my chance of survival. Safety? I guess not, but it’s definitely in the ‘safety’ category, as opposed to ‘comfort’, ‘convienience’, ‘performance’, etc.


#4

I disagree - I believe it IS a safety feature. However, it is entirely a passive safety feature, not an active one. You appear to want to limit “safety features” to only include active safety features, not passive ones. Do crumple zones, airbags, or seatbelts help you avoid an accident? No. Would you not consider them to be safety features?

How On-Star would work as a safety feature is by minimizing crash response time. You won’t always get into an accident with others around to call for you. There are countless accidents on deserted roads out in the middle of nowhere - or even cases where people drive off the road into a ravine or a deep ditch or a swamp and they aren’t seen by other vehicles passing them on the road… there have been cases where those people have been trapped for days without help.

On-Star would help notify rescue crews and direct them to your location in these cases to get them there as fast as possible. In many accidents, minutes can be the difference between life and death.

That said, I don’t believe it saves nearly as many lives as the other passive features I mentioned. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a safety feature.

And it isn’t alone. If you buy a Ford/Lincoln/Mercury with SYNC, and plug your phone into the system, it will call 911 for you in the case of an accident and let them know your location, too…


#5

Oh but wait,
then you have to pay for it.

Yep it’s only included ( aka “free” ) for the first year. What a tease.


#6

Yes, you are way off base.

As much as I hate to admit it, it is a safety feature. After the collision, when it comes to safety, fault is a moot point. Getting a speedy EMT dispatch may save your life. Avoiding a collision is the best alternative, but safety after the fact isn’t a matter of fault.

Most collisions are avoidable, but some are not, and it is wrong to assume they are all preventable.


#7

A rose by any other name is still a rose.

I think it could be argued that OnStar is a safety feature…especially if you’re a marketing firm looking for the GM account. But it doesn’t matter. To me, it’s not worth the subscription fee. To others, it apparently is.


#8

It is marketed as a safety feature by GM. If the crash detection and response was not part of the paid for subscription I would consider it a safety feature.

Since it is free for the 1st year only then I’d characterized this feature as similar to a home protection system with 24/7 monitoring. If you want the safety benefits then you have to pay the monthly or yearly subscription costs to have it.

With so many motorists on the road with cell phones I think someone is going to call 911 pretty quickly in the case of most accidents. The GM ads show a couple wreaked on a lonely rural road and give you the notion noone will be coming along for days. Fact is even rural roads get enough use that someone will be on the scene pretty soon.

Of course you can always use your own cell phone to call 911 once you stop seeing stars.


#9

With so many motorists on the road with cell phones I think someone is going to call 911 pretty quickly in the case of most accidents.

I’ve been meaning to post this for some time, and I finally found it.

I bet she has OnStar now!

Before you argue with me, I know the chances of something like this happening are quite remote, but this is a fine example of a circumstance where OnStar could have helped.


#10

Out of curiosity, where do you live, UncleTurbo?

I can think of plenty of rural places where other cars may not come past for several hours or more. Then you would have to count on them actually seeing the accident, and that isn’t always a given if you’re off the road.

I’d agree that it won’t exactly improve your response times in a heavily urban environment, but out in the boondocks? Yes, there are plenty of places it still would be VERY useful in the US…


#11

Question, “Why do you have Onstar” answer, “It makes me feel safer”, question, “what do you mean”? answer. “If I have an accident I have one more way to call for help”. If it makes you feel safer, it qualifies as a “safety feature” in my book.

My “automotive safety plan” has several components and one of them is having a way to call for help, and a backup way. My plan also includes vehicle maintenance, things I keep in the car, telling people where I am going, etc.It is not limited too having good tires.


#12

I’d put it in the same class as seat belts, SRS, and crumple zones. Those things are also passive up to the time of the impact.


#13

Pocono Mountains in NE Pennsylvania. Certainly there are many places less populated than my locale. If “On Star” will aid response time where you live, get a GM car and pay the yearly subscription.

On Star does have an advantage over cell phones because it uses satellite communications (could be wrong, but I think it does) which gives much better coverage in remote areas.


#14

The newer versions of OnStar can slow your car if it is stolen to help quickly end a police chase. That could be considered a safety feature. Not being lost due to the Navigation feature (A GPS can replace it) is also good for safe driving. If you have a personal medical emergency that is not due to a car crash, OnStar is a personal safety feature. Just push the red button at the bottom of the rear view mirror; no need to fumble for a cell phone. Even a small child could be instructed to do it.

It may be stretching it to say that the remote door lock feature is for safety but could be under some conditions.

The email notification of car maintenance check items such as oil change time and tire pressures is useless. You can see those inside the car.