DRIVERS have been urged to check if their car has an SOS button to save lives.
The special emergency call system eCall has been installed in all new cars and vans by law for four years.
When airbags deploy, vehicle sensors activate the eCall system, which automatically sends the engine’s location to a 999 operator. reports the mirror.
The life-saving technology was developed as an alternative to cell phones in the event of an accident.
Since April 2018, every new car and van has had eCall as standard with the SOS button, which is most commonly found at the top of the windscreen or on the steering wheel.
A National Highways survey found that many drivers were unaware the emergency call system existed, while others used it for non-emergency calls.
This may mean that other people who urgently need the service cannot connect.
National Highways have now partnered with vehicle manufacturers and automobile associations to spread awareness of the special technology.
Mel Clarke, National Highways Customer Services Director, said: “Safety is our priority at National Highways.
“The emergency call system (eCall) and its SOS button could save lives and revolutionize the way people respond to traffic accidents on the roads, but our research shows that most people don’t know about it.
“I urge drivers to verify that they have this safety feature installed, particularly if your vehicle has been manufactured since April 2018, and to follow our advice on how and when to use it.”
The button can also be used for any emergency situation on the road.
Mike Hawes, Chief Executive of the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), said: “SMMT is pleased to be working with National Highways to create greater awareness and understanding of the Emergency Call System (eCall) and its SOS button functionality in vehicles .
“This initiative is vital in educating and reminding consumers about the extra safety measures their cars have, including the ability to call for help in times of need.”
By the end of 2025, over 12.6 million cars and vans will be equipped with the emergency call system (eCall).
Steve Gooding, Director of the RAC Foundation, said: “There are so many clever, high-tech elements being put into modern cars that it’s all too easy for drivers to overlook those – like eCall – that could be of most value in a road accident .
“Knowing how the infotainment system works could make a long drive easier, but knowing how and when to use eCall can save lives.”
https://www.thesun.ie/motors/8596219/drivers-urged-check-sos-button-in-cars/ Drivers urged to check the SOS button in their cars, which could save their lives