Four E's of crash analytics, part 4: Emergency response


We've introduced the topic of the Four E's and discussed the role of analytics in Enforcement and Engineering. Now let's delve into Emergency Response.

A quick emergency response can make all the difference in saving the lives of crash victims.  Many vehicles can now communicate directly with emergency responders immediately after a crash.  The vehicle gives responders important information about the crash to help EMS tailor their response.  For example, responders will know how fast the car was going, if the driver and passengers were wearing seat belts, if the air bags deployed and if the vehicle rolled over.  This information can help the emergency technicians prepare on the way to the crash to intervene with life-saving help as soon as possible.

Another area gaining attention is the need for an enhanced 911 system that can pinpoint the exact location of emergency calls coming from cellphones.  Next generation 911 systems will not only be able to do that, but also handle non-voice communication like video and other data streams.  A 911 system that can accommodate cellphones and other data streams will help first responders deliver emergency services in the most efficient and effective way possible.

Ultimately, the goal is to connect the vehicle with 911, law enforcement officers, emergency responders, hospitals and trauma centers.  Even if a driver physically can’t make a phone call, an automatic crash notification (ACN) system like On-Star can put the driver in touch with someone immediately. If the driver can’t communicate, the ACN operator is able to retrieve data from the car and communicate essential crash information to police, emergency responders and trauma centers.  Advanced ACN are in development which could give medical history of the driver and passengers to emergency responders, as well.

Additionally, the crash information provided to EMS can be useful to law enforcement when conducting the crash investigation.  Electronically collected information can reduce the amount of time law enforcement agencies take to enter crash data into the database.  The in-vehicle ACN contains data including speed, change in speed, direction, airbag deployment, seat belt use and brake use.  All of this information can be used in the overall crash investigation.   Additionally, integrating data from the crash scene with state traffic management centers can help map a route for EMS so they can get to the scene as fast as possible.

Data collected at the scene of crashes also can help EMS learn from their responses.  EMS response data includes things like response times, what kind of medical assistance was administered at the scene and whether or not the crash victims were transported to the hospital or trauma center. Applying analytics to that, and other crash scene, data enables responders to adjust procedures and put policies in place to improve efficiencies and save lives.


About Author

Melissa Savage

Sr Industry Consultant, State and Local Government

Melissa Savage is a subject matter expert with SAS Institute, Inc. focusing on transportation issues facing state and local governments. Prior to her position with SAS Institute, Inc. Ms. Savage was a Program Director at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) in the Energy, Environment & Transportation program. During her 13 years with NCSL, Ms. Savage authored several publications on transportation issues, testified before state legislative committees and represented NCSL and the interests of state legislatures before national transportation organizations and working groups on a variety of topics. Before working at NCSL, Melissa worked in the Office of Legislative Legal Services at the Colorado General Assembly. She received her master’s degree in public administration from the University of Colorado and her bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University.

Leave A Reply

Back to Top