Canadian Blog House wants you to be safe out there on the road. We’ve partnered with YMC and OnStar to share our story of how OnStar helped to save the life of a young man in a remote part of Canada. We received compensation for this post. All opinions are our own.
Be safe out there.
Those words bring back so many memories for me.
It was 2006 and we were on a great Canadian road trip along the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island.
Near the remote northern tip of Cape Breton, in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, we came upon a horrible accident that had just happened minutes before we arrived, at the peak of one of the tallest mountains in the park.
There sat 3 motorcycles, two lying on the ground near a cement barrier, and one parked off to the side.
Then we noticed the skid marks on the road that lead to the cement barrier – and disappeared into thin air.
There was no one around except for the driver and passenger from the vehicle that had been driving just ahead of us on this isolated stretch of road.
To our horror, the passenger was standing in front of the cement barrier, looking over the edge in a panic.
We pulled up and rushed over to see what was going on.
The Accidental Tourists
There below us, a couple of hundred feet down on a rocky ledge, lay a young man, flat on his back, dressed from head to toe in leather gear and a motorcycle helmet.
Beside him on the ledge were his father, and best friend, frantically trying to figure out how to help this young man. The driver of the vehicle that had stopped in front of us was carefully climbing down the embankment trying to reach the trio.
Miscommunication about where the trio was going to stop next, led to the friend pulling off at the side of the road, at the top of the mountain, at the wrong time. The son wasn’t prepared to stop. The friend drove into him, sending the son catapulting over the edge, and down onto a rocky ledge – just above a river.
Had he landed a few feet further out, he would have fallen into the river bed below.
Our first reaction was to reach for our mobile phone. Remember, it was 2006. Although we had a mobile phone, it was a primitive one. Paired with cellular service that was non-existant (in those days) on the northern tip of Cape Breton, our mobile phone was useless in this situation.
Safe And Secure With OnStar
But that’s okay because the other car that had stopped at the accident scene that day…
It was equipped with OnStar.
What started out as an exciting summer road trip for an Ontario father, his son, and his son’s best friend – on their motorcycles – nearly ended in tragedy.
This young man’s survival was thanks, in part, to OnStar.
OnStar is an “in-vehicle safety and security technology with a human touch, available only on Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles.”
This safety and security technology has been embedded directly into GM vehicles for over 20 years now.
OnStar’s advisors are medically trained and certified by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch with the same level of training provided to 911 operators.
Sending Out An SOS
When you need emergency help, OnStar is there for you – with a human touch.
One push of OnStar’s red “sos” button and you are automatically connected to an OnStar medical advisor ready to assist you – and virtually hold your hand until help arrives.
OnStar’s red button is not the only way that this safety and security system can help you. Timing is everything in the moments after a collision. OnStar’s Automatic Crash Response system, with built-in sensors on your vehicle, can detect a crash – and when airbags are deployed.
When a crash is detected, an OnStar medical advisor will contact you over the OnStar system. If no response is received, the OnStar medical advisor will automatically dispatch emergency vehicles to the scene.
Automatic Crash Response is just one of several great features available with OnStar…
OnStar Provides Peace Of Mind
Driving alone? Let OnStar be your passenger.
OnStar can provide peace of mind for:
- newly licensed drivers or those learning to drive (or their parents!)
- those traveling in areas where there is no cellular service
- people who own mobile phones that may be older and unreliable, or that have run out of battery power
- anyone involved in an emergency where a mobile phone is out of reach within the vehicle
- those who feel better just knowing someone will be there to talk to them and guide them through any emergency situation – no matter where they go
- adult children with older parents who do not own a mobile phone
OnStar provides safety and security at your fingertips. With the push of one button, help is on the way!
***Please note…in the photo below, our 2007 OnStar model does have an emergency button, however, back then it was not red.
Helping The Next Generation
Although we do not have OnStar in our newer vehicle we currently use for road trips outside the city, we do have OnStar in our older model Saturn vehicle that was given to me by my parents when they gave up driving.
I still remember how relieved I was in 2007, when my parents told me they had purchased a new vehicle with OnStar. This gave ME peace of mind knowing that, if my aging parents had an accident or an emergency while driving, OnStar was there for them.
Having a reliable vehicle, for road trips, and feeling safe on the road, is key for our family.
Now, with this same Saturn still being driven by us at 11 years of age, it’s a relief to know that OnStar continues to keep our family’s safety and security in mind.
On A Road To Nowhere
Our recent 5-hour summer road trip, northwest of Thunder Bay, Ontario, reminded me how useful OnStar’s safety and security technology is when we lost cellular reception just outside of Thunder Bay.
For the next 5 hours, the cellular reception was spotty at best, and mostly found near a few small towns we passed.
Safety is often an afterthought – most people think ‘it won’t happen to me’. The reality is, it can happen to any of us.
If we had experienced an emergency during this part of our trip, with no OnStar on board, we would have had no way to call for help.
You bet I was wishing we had OnStar in our rental vehicle! Lesson learned!
Safety And Security…and a Dramatic Rescue
So back to Cape Breton Island.
The young motorcyclist lived to tell his tale.
By the time we arrived at the accident scene, the people in the other vehicle had already pressed their OnStar red emergency button. Help was already on the way.
Thanks to OnStar’s GPS capabilities, the red button is designed to automatically connect an OnStar Advisor to your vehicle with your location through GPS location services.
Their call for help was heard when no mobile device would work.
Thanks to valiant efforts by the father, the friend, my partner, and all the volunteer first responders who answered OnStar’s call, this young man was hauled back up the steep cliff, into an ambulance, and taken off to hospital.
Despite broken ribs, a broken leg, cuts and bruises, this lucky young man survived to tell his tale, and to teach the rest of us a very important lesson…
In the middle of nowhere, the last place you want to be is alone.
For more information on how you can experience the safety and security of driving with OnStar yourself, please visit onstar.ca .