When technology turns on you.
This is probably not what 57-year-old Cathy Bernstein had in mind when she purchased her Ford Focus. According to the local ABC News affiliate, the Florida resident was driving her car when, for an unknown reason, managed to hit a truck and then a van before fleeing from the scene. But here’s something she didn’t know her Focus was capable of: calling 911 in the event of an accident, courtesy of the car’s 911 Assist feature as part of the SYNC system.
The car’s sensors detected an impact and then made the automatic emergency call. That’s when the 911 dispatcher called Bernstein to see what’s up, and the conversation went as follows: Dispatcher: Your car called in saying you’ve been involved in an accident. It doesn’t do that for no reason. Did you leave the scene of an accident? Bernstein: No, I would never do that." Ain’t technology wonderful? Bernstein actually suffered from some minor injuries as a result of the crash and ended up in the hospital to be checked out.
Ironically enough, Bernstein’s victim, Anna Preston, whose car was one of those smashed, was sent to the same hospital. So, what’s the lesson here? Don’t buy a car with an automatic 911-dialing system if you think you’ll commit a hit and run. Instead, just buy a car without that feature say, for example, a $17,000 Dodge Dart. Spending over $20k on a SYNC-equipped Focus didn’t work out so well for her in the end.