Evaluating the Potential Benefits of Advanced Automatic Crash Notification

Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017 Apr;32(2):156-164. doi: 10.1017/S1049023X16001473. Epub 2017 Jan 31.


Objective: Advanced Automatic Collision Notification (AACN) services in passenger vehicles capture crash data during collisions that could be transferred to Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers. This study explored how EMS response times and other crash factors impacted the odds of fatality. The goal was to determine if information transmitted by AACN could help decrease mortality by allowing EMS providers to be better prepared upon arrival at the scene of a collision.

Methods: The Crash Injury Research and Engineering Network (CIREN) database of the US Department of Transportation/National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (USDOT/NHTSA; Washington DC, USA) was searched for all fatal crashes between 1996 and 2012. The CIREN database also was searched for illustrative cases. The NHTSA's Fatal Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and National Automotive Sampling System Crashworthiness Data System (NASS CDS) databases were queried for all fatal crashes between 2000 and 2011 that involved a passenger vehicle. Detailed EMS time data were divided into prehospital time segments and analyzed descriptively as well as via multiple logistic regression models.

Results: The CIREN data showed that longer times from the collision to notification of EMS providers were associated with more frequent invasive interventions within the first three hours of hospital admission and more transfers from a regional hospital to a trauma center. The NASS CDS and FARS data showed that rural collisions with crash-notification times >30 minutes were more likely to be fatal than collisions with similar crash-notification times occurring in urban environments. The majority of a patient's prehospital time occurred between the arrival of EMS providers on-scene and arrival at a hospital. The need for extrication increased the on-scene time segment as well as total prehospital time.

Conclusion: An AACN may help decrease mortality following a motor vehicle collision (MVC) by alerting EMS providers earlier and helping them discern when specialized equipment will be necessary in order to quickly extricate patients from the collision site and facilitate expeditious transfer to an appropriate hospital or trauma center. Plevin RE , Kaufman R , Fraade-Blanar L , Bulger EM . Evaluating the potential benefits of advanced automatic crash notification. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32(2):156-164.

Keywords: AACN Advanced Automatic Collision Notification; CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; CIREN Crash Injury Research and Engineering Network; EMS Emergency Medical Services; FARS Fatality Analysis Reporting System; ISS injury severity score; MVC motor vehicle collision; NASS CDS National Automotive Sampling System Crashworthiness Data System; NHTSA National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; TBI traumatic brain injury; EMS communication systems; Emergency Medical Services; motor vehicles; time factors; traffic accidents.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / mortality*
  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data
  • Adolescent
  • Aged
  • Civil Defense
  • Databases, Factual
  • Emergency Medical Service Communication Systems*
  • Emergency Medical Services*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Safety
  • Time Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control