Your Car is Watching You

A while back, former Massachusetts Lt. Governor Tim Murray was driving on an icy road at 65 MPH, when his car skidded into a rock ledge and flipped, at least that was what the Lt. Governor’s recollection of the accident.  But he was driving 108 MPH, with no seatbelt and hit the rock ledge at 92 MPH, and did not apply the brakes or try to turn the steering wheel before hitting the ledge. The information which dramatically contradicted the Lt Governor’s recollection was collected and supplied by the vehicle’s “Event Data Recorder,” or EDR. The EDR is a computer module in your vehicle that is often compared to the “black box” on a commercial airliner. The black box records your behavior behind the wheel, including brake application, steering, and speed at the time of impact of an event and whether you or the passengers were wearing seatbelts.

In 2005, it was estimated that about 64 percent of passenger cars on the market came equipped from the factory with “Event Data Recorders,” I would guess that the number today is much higher. What can the Security Driver do about their onboard watchdog – nothing? Be aware that it is there, and if an event occurs, accident or otherwise, keep in mind that whatever you say and report can be verified via a computer. Throughout the states, the data from the EDR has been accepted in criminal prosecutions and civil litigation. The data contained within an EDR is treated as the property of the vehicle owner and will require the consent of the vehicle’s owner to access the information.

For more info on EDR

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