EDR and Car Accidents

While the driver at fault in most car accidents is apparent, it’s not always so. In such cases, it typically boils down to two sides telling their versions of the story, which are often very different, and their stories only begin to align when there is a video of the event or a reliable witness who can corroborate what happened.

Though your insurance premium would take a hit, this isn’t a big problem if it’s only a fender bender or a smashed headlight. However, when someone suffers injuries due to a car accident, it is vital to prove who is at fault. If you sustain serious injuries requiring medical attention due to another driver’s negligence, you want to be able to get compensation for your losses.  To do that, you need evidence.

Fortunately, about 64% of cars manufactured after 2005 have some type of crash data recording capabilities, which can make all the difference. The device used to make these recordings is an event data recorder (EDR). The retrieved data from EDRs, which are sometimes called black boxes, can provide you and your personal injury lawyer with valuable evidence to prove your claim.

What is an EDR?

An EDR car accident device automatically stores technical information about a vehicle and its occupants for five seconds or so before, after, and during a car accident. The purpose is to monitor and assess the safety and system performance of the motor vehicle at the time of a crash.

A car accident event data recorder has become more accepted as a source of reliable, empirical evidence in a civil or criminal case. Like black boxes in aircrafts, a car’s event data recorder can be valuable in reconstructing and analyzing a car accident.

What Can Be Recorded in an EDR?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) currently requires motor vehicles manufactured on or after September 1, 2010, to be installed with EDRs, which will record 15 types of data in a standardized format, including the vehicle speed, steering wheel angle, brake application, accelerator position, airbag status, and seatbelt use.

A vehicle’s EDR may store technical vehicle data about the status and dynamics of the vehicle before a crash, what the driver did during a collision, and the deployment status of restraints or the automatic collision notification system. As you can probably imagine, accessing data from a vehicle data recorder can help you with your personal injury claim.

Florida Privacy Rights Concerning Event Data Recorder

The federal government does not require vehicles to have EDRs, although there was a proposal to put that into law. Title 49 Part 563 of the Code of Federal Regulations standardizes the US’s collection, storage, and retrieval of EDR data. Still, it does not mandate the installation of EDRs on all vehicles.

As a result, Florida drivers may not even know if their cars have EDRs. That is, until a car accident. However, while you may freely access your own EDR data, the same is not true for the other driver. Several pieces of legislation address the retrieval and use of crash data because some of that data may be personally identifiable.

One is the Driver Privacy Act of 2015, which restricts the download and use of EDR data to protect the privacy of vehicle owners. The Act states that no one can force someone to give up a vehicle’s EDR data unless there is a court order to that effect. To access EDR data from the other driver in Florida, you need to get their consent or file a civil lawsuit to get a court order. The problem is that you risk the data’s deletion if you wait too long, so get in touch with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after a car accident.

Did you know?

When there are no witnesses to a car accident, EDR information can help provide vital facts in a case. But the device only stores a few seconds of data, so it may not give a complete picture of the events leading up to the accident.

How Can an EDR Help in a Car Accident Case?

An EDR provides objective and empirical technical information that can help you prove the other driver’s liability in a car accident. EDR data can be instrumental in demonstrating the circumstances of the car and the driver in the moments leading up to the accident. Because of the NHTSA standardization requirements, experts with specialized training can retrieve and analyze EDR data to make accurate insights into the other driver’s actions before the crash.  

For instance, if you claim that the other driver was speeding and not paying attention to the road before the collision, you can use the EDR data to prove it when you file a personal injury claim. The information from the accident data recorder will show the driver’s exact speed and calculate when the driver reacted by looking at the brake application before the crash. 

Have You Been Involved in a Car Accident? Contact Us Today!

If you are involved in a car accident and it’s unclear who is at fault, it would be beneficial if your vehicle has an EDR.

EDR data can help you prove fault one way or the other, which is helpful when you make a claim with insurance companies and vital if you suffered injuries and hope to get compensation for your losses.     

While EDR data is a source of important information to prove liability for a car accident, it is only as good as the car accident lawyer you hire to represent you. A personal injury lawsuit involving an EDR car accident can get very complicated and, therefore, you need an experienced Diamond Law attorney in Miami to handle your case.

Diamond & Diamond lawyers have many years of experience in handling complex cases. We understand how to leverage EDR data and other evidence to prove your insurance and personal injury claims. Before we can help you, we need to evaluate your case.

If you are ready to file a personal injury claim, get in touch with us. We can help you win your case and get you the compensation you need.

FAQs on EDR and Car Accidents

The owner or lessee of an EDR-capable vehicle has a right to the data. They can refuse to give anyone access to the data unless there is a court order to that effect. The National Transportation Safety Board or Department of Transportation may also retrieve the data for an authorized investigation.

EDR data is becoming more accepted as a source of empirical evidence for civil and criminal court cases. Several cases in the US have resulted in both convictions and dismissals on the strength of EDR evidence.

Yes, Florida drivers have the right to demand a warrant before they have to give up event data recorder information, as this might include personally identifiable data. An appeals court recognized this right to privacy.