Often in a rollover accident, the driver and passengers are unable to call for help, the researchers said. So, unless the accident occurs on a busy road, rescue is unlikely to arrive quickly.
Now Debopam Acharya and colleagues at Georgia Southern University are developing a system that will determine the nature of an accident and automatically call emergency medical services for possible action.
"Prompt communication is crucial during life-threatening events, such as fire, floods, explosions and traffic accidents, and is especially true for vehicle rollovers and crashes," Acharya said, noting such situations can be even more dangerous for military personnel during training or maneuvers off-road and in remote locations.
The system called SAVE uses inexpensive sensor technology, including an inclinometer to detect rollover, and powerful wireless technology to assess vehicle conditions. The researchers said it can monitor vehicle incline, temperature, deceleration and airbag deployment. SAVE is also coupled to a global positioning system device so emergency services can locate the accident quickly.
The research is detailed in the International Journal of Intelligent Defense Support Systems.