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Event Data Recorder: Your Auto’s Black Box

Event Data Recorder

Many drivers don’t realize that their car has a black box. As of 2014, all new automobiles in the US are required to have a factory installed black box, officially referred to as an Event Data recorder, or EDR. This device can record information from 5 to 20 seconds before an accident and another second afterward. Technology has been developed to protect software in order to preserve data collected and stored. This information is then used in the event of an accident investigation, diagnosis of repair needs, and vehicle performance research.

What Data is Collected?

The data collected reflects information that the particular vehicle model is able to record. This is not the same for all vehicles and options. The more autonomous functions provided by the vehicle relates to more data being available. The type of data that can be recorded includes:

  • Speed of vehicle
  • Radar
  • Seat Placement
  • Radio station
  • Proximity to other vehicles
  • Traffic signs
  • Lights
  • People and objects surrounding the vehicle
  • Tire pressure
  • Airbag deployment
  • Brake pressure
  • Steering
  • Seatbelts

Accessing the Event Data Recorder

Congress passed the Drivers Privacy Act of 2015. The act attempts to protect the owner of the vehicle from having their personal information as recorded by the Event Recording Device from being available to non-essential entities. The act provides for legal investigations, government law enforcement bodies, and repair establishments to access the data. In 17 states, additional legislation has been passed requiring such additional measures as owner’s written permission, or a court order in order to access the data. Florida is not one of those states.

Is Having an Event Data Recorder a Good Thing?

Since it’s often confusing or difficult to prove the validity of witness or defendant testimony, having an EDR can offer another source of hopefully reliable information for an investigation. In any case, if you or your family member have been involved in an accident and there is an Event Data Recorder available, you’ll need to seek counsel from an experienced attorney to sort out what comes next. Contact the Tison Law Group for answers.

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