E112 – a small personal note

Just returned from a holiday in France, where we hired a car with all the latest in satnav, built-in tracking, and so on. On a mountain-side near Chamonix we hit a patch of black ice and went into a skid. We hit the roadside wall, bounced off and skidded back into the road, and finally came to a stop further down the road. Despite serious fear of death at the time (beyond the roadside wall there was a long drop into the valley) there were no serious consequences. There were no other vehicles involved, the car was still drive-able afterwards, and there were no injuries.

Nevertheless, the inbuilt tracking device decided to make an emergency call and send our GPS-determined location to the emergency services, even though the airbags did not inflate. Exactly as described here. The satnav display told us this. I’ve no idea what it said to the emergency services, but absolutely nothing else happened. No emergency vehicles turned up, no emergency response centre talked to us. As it turned out, that was all for the best, because I don’t speak much French and couldn’t have described the accident to anyone. But what would have happened if it had been a more serious accident? Would the system have done anything else? Somehow I don’t have much confidence.

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