Drivers who don’t know about the special SOS button in cars that could save your life

National Highways is now working with vehicle manufacturers and automobile associations to spread awareness of a special SOS button in cars, which is potentially life-saving technology

Many drivers do not know the SOS button in the car
Many drivers do not know the SOS button in the car

Motorists have been told to check if their car has an SOS button, as many are unaware of the potentially life-saving technology.

All new cars and vans must include the eCall emergency call system, which has an SOS button built in, as part of legislation introduced four years ago.

When airbags deploy, vehicle sensors activate the eCall system, which automatically sends its location to a reported 999 operator Manchester evening news.

The system allows drivers to speak to emergency responders who, using the vehicle’s exact coordinates, can direct emergency services to the exact location of the vehicle.

The technology can also be manually activated by the driver pressing the eCall system’s SOS button to connect to emergency services.

The button is usually located above the windshield or on the steering wheel

It is an alternative to the mobile phone when the occupant has difficulty accessing it in the event of an accident.

But with many drivers unaware of the technology, National Highways is now partnering with vehicle manufacturers and automobile associations to educate people.

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.”

Drivers are advised to use the button for any in-car emergency



All new passenger car and van types built since April 2018 have eCall with the SOS button as standard, which is typically located at the top of the windshield 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, which could mean others who really need the service won’t be able to connect.

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.”

The button can also be used for any emergency situation on the road.

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.”

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Fry Electronics Team

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