This paper describes how information available through the OnStar system represents a unique and powerful mechanism to assess field crash rates. Included within is a description of how vehicle and OnStar information may be gathered, organized and analyzed. The resulting data provides the capability to conducts various studies of field activity and/or events. In this case, a study was conducted to try to determine if certain vehicle equipment might have an impact on field crash rates. The process is exemplified via a description of a study conducted by GM OnStar in 2009. Two analyses were conducted comparing crash rates of selected vehicle models, with and without certain advanced safety sensing and warning features.
Specifically, beginning in the 2008 Model Year, General Motors introduced Lane Departure Warning and Side Blind Zone Alert into US/Canada production. Utilizing data on crashes, drawn from OnStar Automatic Crash Response events, analyses of crash rates were conducted. A description of the steps used to identify study vehicles, the data gathering processes used and the crash rate analysis are detailed. Study findings indicate that the presence of these features does appear to have a positive impact on crash rates.