GM Helps Protect Before, During and After a Crash

As a public safety professional, you may be familiar with the OnStar®1 Automatic Crash Response2 (ACR) system and how it can provide valuable emergency assistance to first responders when a collision occurs.  But ACR is just one of many safety components that GM employs for vehicle occupants.

“GM uses a Before, During and After strategy that provides a comprehensive approach to safety,” says Tricia Morrow, GM Safety Strategy Engineer, adding that the company’s vision is to achieve zero crashes.

Attaining that objective, Morrow says, begins with extensive testing that analyzes how crashes happen in the field, followed by an iterative design process to help develop safety features and countermeasures to protect occupants during a collision. “The process also relies heavily on computer-aided design and math simulations as well as the testing of components, subsystems and full-scale vehicles,” she says.

To help drivers prevent collisions in the first place, many newer GM vehicles come equipped with active safety and crash-avoidance technologies, such as Forward Collision Alert3, Lane Departure Warning3 and others. With Front Pedestrian Braking3, for example, if a pedestrian is directly ahead, a collision is imminent, and the driver has not already applied the brakes, the feature will alert the driver and, if necessary, apply hard emergency braking to help reduce the collision’s severity or avoid the collision altogether.

When a crash occurs, a vehicle’s crumple zones, safety cage, airbags4 and seat belt technology go to work, helping to protect those inside. Crumple zones manage crash energy by absorbing the impact within the outer portion of the vehicle to help keep it from reaching occupants. Airbags, meanwhile, work in conjunction with seat belts to reduce the risk of injury during front and side impacts and in rollover situations.

Following a collision, the aforementioned OnStar Automatic Crash Response system comes into play, alerting an OnStar Emergency-certified Advisor5 of the crash while transmitting critical data, such as vehicle location and Injury Severity Prediction information, to OnStar to help determine the appropriate emergency assistance to dispatch to the scene.

“At GM, we are constantly looking for ways to help protect our customers and make them feel safer and more secure in our vehicles.” Morrow says. “I’m proud to work for a company that puts safety at the center of everything we do; for our customers, for our families and for everyone on the road.”



  1. See for details and limitations. Services vary by model. Service plan required.
  2. OnStar links to emergency services. Not all vehicles may transmit all crash data.
  3. Safety or driver assistance features are no substitute for the driver’s responsibility to operate the vehicle in a safe manner. The driver should remain attentive to traffic, surroundings and road conditions at all times. Visibility, weather, and road conditions may affect feature performance. Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for more important feature limitations and information.
  4. Always use seat belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See the Owner’s Manual for more information.
  5. Certified by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch.