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Event Data Recorder & a St. Louis Auto Accident Claim

What’s the purpose of an EDR, and how can insurance companies use this information to reduce your claim?

Did you know your car likely has an event data recorder (EDR)? This device records data such as speed, acceleration, steering, braking, and airbag deployment during a crash. If this is news to you, then you may be surprised to learn that 96% of the new cars sold in the United States come with an EDR already installed. You may still have this device even if your vehicle is 10 or 20 years old. 

st. louis driver overcorrecting

How Do EDRs Work? 

As mentioned already, EDRs are microcomputers installed to collect data. They are usually part of the airbag module since they originally intended to tell car manufacturers if the airbags were appropriately deployed during a crash. 

As technology became more sophisticated and available, automakers developed event data recorders that could collect more than just airbag deployment information. 

As this technology was becoming the norm in new car models, the NHTS stipulated in 2012 that if a vehicle has an EDR, then it must record at least 15 specific data points, including speed, braking, steering, acceleration, seatbelt use, and airbag deployment in case of a crash. These microcomputers record data in a loop, writing over information continuously until a crash occurs. When you get in a collision, the EDR will save up to five seconds of data immediately before, during, and after the accident. 

Can Insurance Companies Use This Data to Reduce My Claim?

EDRs were designed to help automakers understand driver behavior and create better, safer cars. However, because these devices can tell what happened before the accident, they are a goldmine for insurance companies. 

According to the law, you are the owner of the EDR data, and other parties generally cannot access it unless: 

  • You allow them to access the data
  •  You are required so by a subpoena from a civil court order
  •  You have to comply with a federal investigation
  •  There’s a search warrant

An insurance company typically cannot force you to give them this data if you don’t want to. They may try to convince you that you can’t file a claim with it or that they need it to settle your case faster.

It is essential to understand your legal rights if you are involved in a St. Louis car accident. This makes it very important that you speak with an experienced St. Louis auto accident attorney as soon as possible to protect your legal rights.

Updated: April 26, 2024