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OnStar Comforts Family After Late-Night Crash with a Deer

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An Advisor’s assistance helps a family stay calm after hitting a deer on a rural road
Most drivers, especially those in rural areas, have heard stories of crashes involving deer. But despite knowing it’s a possibility, it’s hard to be prepared for just how terrifying such a crash can be. Fortunately for one Ontario family, when that scary situation became reality, OnStar Automatic Crash Response*12 helped them deal with the aftermath.

In summer 2020, Sarah, her husband, Grant, and Sarah’s son, Connor, took a day trip to Windsor to celebrate Connor’s birthday. On the drive home that night on one of the rural roads close to their home, Grant spotted a couple of deer at the side of the road. He immediately slowed down his Chevrolet Silverado. The deer ran off, and Grant started to accelerate again.

“Then this big deer came out of nowhere,” Sarah says. “We saw it out of the corner of our eye and it ran straight in front of the truck. We hit it at a good 90 to 95 kilometres per hour.”

The entire family was in shock. “There was literally about two seconds of absolute silence,” Sarah says. Then, that silence was broken by a voice. Hitting the deer had activated Automatic Crash Response, and an OnStar Advisor had connected in to the truck. The Advisor remotely activated the vehicle’s four-way flashers and immediately began checking on the condition of Sarah and her family.

“He said, ‘Does anybody need an ambulance? I have your GPS location. I don’t want you to worry about anything. I can request help be sent there as quickly as possible. Does anybody need anything?’” Sarah recalls. “At no time did he make me feel like there was any sort of time constraint; he just stayed on the line with us for as long as we needed him to.”

Fortunately, nobody was injured, just shaken up. They moved the truck off to the side of the road, the Advisor contacted the local police department with the family’s location, and before long an officer had arrived to help file a crash report. The truck was driveable, so after filing their report, Sarah and her family were able to continue driving home.

The crash occurred only weeks after Sarah and Grant had purchased their first OnStar-equipped vehicles. The couple had recently decided to buy new trucks to help with their work running a renovation company near their home in the Chatham-Kent area. They picked out a 2020 GMC Sierra Elevation for Sarah and a 2017 Chevrolet Silverado Z71 for Grant. “His is absolutely a work truck,” Sarah says. “It’s loaded with tools and supplies every single day.” And, unlike their prior vehicles, both trucks were equipped with OnStar.

As new Members, Sarah and Grant enjoy using Connected Services features on their vehicles, thanks to the myGMC and myChevrolet mobile apps.*20 “It was really useful to be able to check the status of the trucks to see if they needed to be filled up, or using the remote feature to start or stop the trucks,”*22 Sarah says. But it wasn’t until the late-night deer crash that they saw how OnStar can provide added peace of mind in an emergency.

With their Silverado repaired a few weeks later, Sarah and Grant still think back to that unexpected encounter in the dark. “Grant tends to drive with his high-beams on now when on rural roads, and we’re always watching for deer,” she says. “We see OnStar as a valuable asset, to us as a family, to have that assurance that there’s always going to be somebody on the end of the line when we need them.”

And with her son soon to start driving on his own (he has his learner’s licence for now), Sarah says having OnStar provides her with even more peace of mind. “Having that there for him, it gives me reassurance that when Connor does start driving alone, he’s got somebody looking out for him.”