THE LONGEST 8 MINUTES
When Latene Moore’s husband suffered a major seizure, OnStar was there – for both of them.
It’s one of those calls you never want to get.
A loved one is in the hospital more than a thousand miles away. The doctors aren’t sure what’s wrong. When can you be here?
For OnStar customer Latene Moore, that call came over a weekend. Her husband, Matthew, was travelling in southern Florida, more than a
thousand miles away from their home in Pittsburgh, when he suffered multiple seizures. With Matthew having no prior history of seizures,
Latene immediately travelled to Florida to be with him.
Doctors weren’t able to determine the immediate cause of Matthew’s seizures, so once he was stabilised, they provided him with an anti-seizure medication and released him from the hospital.
“He lost control, started convulsing, and his lips turned blue,” says Latene. “It was 4 or 5 in the morning, there was nobody around, and I had no idea where I was. But I remembered that I had OnStar.”
Latene decided to drive him to his mother’s home in North Carolina. But just a few hours into the trip, Matthew had his worst episode of all — a grand mal, or generalized tonic-clonic seizure. While there are many types of seizures, this is the most recognisable and can be the most dangerous.
Latene pushed her red Emergency button and was immediately connected to an OnStar Advisor, who was able to quickly locate Latene and Matthew’s vehicle and contact emergency services1.
Matthew’s seizure would last for eight excruciatingly long minutes, but the OnStar Advisors were there for Latene from the time she pushed the button until the ambulance arrived.
Thankfully, Matthew would recover from the frightening incident after being treated in a nearby hospital, and later travelled back home safely. As for Latene, she’s just grateful that someone was there.
“She stayed on the line with me the entire time,” says Latene. “I’d never experienced that before and it was really comforting to have her there when I needed it.”
“I couldn’t imagine not having that assistance in that time of need,” says Latene.
“With OnStar, it feels like someone is sitting right there with you. It’s well worth it because you just never know what might happen.”
1OnStar acts as a link to existing emergency service providers.
9 MUST-HAVE ITEMS YOU SHOULD KEEP IN YOUR CAR (AND PROBABLY DON’T)
Emergencies happen, so it’s a good idea to keep your car stocked with things like a shovel, torch and first-aid kit. But here are a few things that may be not so obvious.
1. DISINFECTANT WIPES
Handy for mopping up spills, cleaning dirty hands and getting dust off your dashboard.
While an OnStar Advisor can help with directions2, it’s always good to have a printed map as a back-up.
3. CAT LITTER
It’s great for absorbing and eliminating odours quickly if a child or pet is sick in the car. You can also spread it on ice or snow for traction during winter.
4. NON-PERISHABLE SNACKS
Energy bars and nuts can make a long trip bearable and keep you going if you’re waiting for help to arrive. Keep fresh bottled water in as well.
It literally has thousands of uses, like keeping moisture away from spark plugs. But did you know it’s great for removing bugs stuck on the windscreen, bird poo and general grime on your car’s exterior? Rinse with soapy water after.
6. DUCT TAPE
It can fix just about anything, from holding a loose exhaust in place, reattaching a mirror to getting dog hair off your seats.
Handy to have in your car. Look for something tough enough to break a window or cut a jammed seatbelt in an emergency.
Store safety matches in a freezer bag so they’ll stay dry. But don’t get strike-anywhere matches as they can ignite accidentally.
An extra layer of warmth in cold-weather and vitally important in a medical emergency.
2Please note that some OnStar features are not available in all models.
5 THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU NEED ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE
Don’t worry, if you have a breakdown, you can always call OnStar. But here are some simple things to know before a breakdown to help everything go as smoothly as possible.
1. PREPARE AN EMERGENCY KIT
While the contents may differ depending on your local climate, your emergency supplies should always include a first-aid kit, jump leads, road flares or warning triangles, a torch, snacks and bottled water.
2. GET TO SAFETY
If something happens to your car on the road, pull over as soon as it’s safe to do so and turn on your hazard warning lights. If you’re on a motorway, exit as soon as you can and find somewhere to park. If you can’t, pull onto the hard shoulder as far away from the road on the left-hand side. If there’s no hard shoulder or you’re in a tunnel, pull as far to the left; as possible.
3. HELP OTHER DRIVERS SEE YOU
Motorway driving can be monotonous, which means other drivers may not be paying as much attention as they should. If you have a breakdown, keep your hazard warning lights and headlights on, even if you’re on the hard shoulder. Try to avoid spots where the vision of oncoming drivers may be blocked, like a sharp turn. Put on a reflective jacket if you have one and put out warning triangles or road flares, but only if it’s safe to do so.
4. GET OUT ONLY WHEN IT’S SAFE TO DO SO
Don’t exit your car until you are clear of the road, and then only on the left side of the vehicle away from traffic. Keep all of your lights on, including your hazard warning lights and interior lights, and wait for help to arrive. If you are on a motorway and cannot get to the side of the road, turn on your hazard lights as soon as possible, stay in your car with your seatbelt fastened and your handbrake on. Use the Red Emergency SOS button to contact OnStar who’ll notify emergency services on your behalf.1
5. BE PATIENT
Once an OnStar Advisor has told you help is on the way, wait for the professionals. Don’t try and fix things yourself or flag someone else down – especially if you’ve broken down on a motorway. Changing a tyre a few metres away from vehicles travelling at high speed is incredibly dangerous.