Emergency Call System for Road Accidents to be in place by 2015

A Commission Recommendations adopted on 8 September urges Member States to ensure that mobile phone network operators upgrade their infrastructure so that eCalls are efficiently passed on to emergency services, which is the first measure to ensure that by 2015 your car can dial emergency services for you when you have a serious accident.

eCall automatically dials Europe's single emergency number 112 in the event of a serious accident and communicates the vehicle's location to the emergency services. Every minute is crucial to save lives and reduce the severity of injuries when emergency services are called to a road accident. Yet, people injured in an accident do not always have the reflex or the physical ability to call emergency services immediately. eCall devices address this problem by alerting emergency services immediately, even if the driver or passenger is unconscious or otherwise unable to call.

The technology speeds up the arrival of emergency teams by an estimated 40% in urban areas and 50% in rural areas. Once widely deployed, eCall will save several hundreds lives in Europe every year, and reduce the severity of injuries and trauma in tens of thousands of cases.

The Commission's aim is for a fully operational eCall service to be in place all over the European Union (as well as Croatia, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland) by 2015.

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