June 08, 2005 -- The
roads are full of parents, guardians and caregivers traveling
in vehicles with precious cargo onboard - children. Whether
they are being driven to and from school, daycare, or extracurricular
activities, children spend a lot of time in vehicles. In
fact, children ages six to 18 spend an average of one hour
a day in cars, according a National Household Travel Survey
conducted every six years by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Child Passenger Safety Week occurs each year during the
week of Valentine's Day, bringing public attention to issues
of transporting children. In a recent study conducted by
OnStar, 76 percent of women surveyed said they would be
concerned about traveling alone in a deserted area with
their children. So, it is important for parents and caregivers
to teach their children when and how to contact help from
an automobile in the event of an emergency.
White of Norwood, Ohio, was hiking in the Smoky Mountains
in Tennessee with her 12-year-old son and his friend, but
this trip turned out to be more of an adventure than they
three miles from the end of the trail Leta broke her leg,
so she turned to the boys for help. Tommy and his friend
hiked back to the family's 2002 Chevrolet TrailBlazer. They
pressed the OnStar emergency button and were relieved to
hear a voice answer their call for help.
OnStar advisor connected the boys with park rangers and
help was soon dispatched. After being on the mountain nearly
12 hours, the rescue teams reached Leta and carried her
to safety. She later underwent surgery to repair three broken
bones in her leg.
of emergencies, there are some caregivers who feel it is
their responsibility to show children how to call for help
when an emergency does occur.
provider Marica Iannacone, of Danbury, Conn., has taught
the children she cares for more than how to share toys and
pick up after themselves. Marica teaches the kids - who
range in age from six months to eight years old - how to
contact OnStar for help in the event of an emergency.
have taught my children that if we are ever in a crash of
any kind, that all they have to do is push the sign of the
'cross' button," Iannacone said, referring to the OnStar
emergency button. "I consider the OnStar advisors God's
angels and I let the children know that all they have to
say is "help" and the angels will send help."
has on occasion responded to emergency calls placed by children
whose parents had become ill while driving. Here are some
Talk to your children about how and when to dial 911,
or how to use an in-vehicle communication system, such
as OnStar, during an emergency.
to your children that 911 can be a source of help to them
during an emergency.
children to give their full name and remain as calm as
possible when speaking with the 911 operator or OnStar
advisor so that they can send appropriate help as quickly
on the line until the operator says it is OK to hang up.
day, an estimated 200,000 calls are made to 911 using wireless
technology, according to the Cellular Telecommunications
& Internet Association (CTIA). OnStar responds to about
13,000 emergency calls each month.
continues to work closely with emergency personnel to report
thousands of motor vehicle emergencies every year. Between
November 2004 and January 2005, OnStar responded to a monthly
900 airbag notifications
400 stolen vehicle location requests
20,000 roadside assistance
addition, General Motors and OnStar have been in the forefront
of child passenger safety. GM has partnered with National
Safe Kids organization for programs such as Safe Kids Buckle
Up education, child restraint check ups at GM dealerships,
and Never Leave Your Child Alone. OnStar has joined with
the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children to
help find missing children as part of the AMBER Alert program.
its commitment to safety and security, General Motors will
make OnStar and electronic stability control (ESC) standard
features on all retail vehicles for customers in the United
States and Canada. The expansion of OnStar will be completed
by 2007, and the ESC rollout will be complete by 2010.
General Motors offers a full range of cars, trucks and SUVs
that provide safety features that operate before, during,
and, thanks to OnStar , after a crash," said Robert
C. Lange, GM executive director, Structure and Safety Integration.