SDM_download_via_DLCThe Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation has specified uniform, national requirements for vehicles currently equipped with event data recorders (EDRs). The regulations can be found in the Transportation section of the Federal Register at section 563. EDR’s collect and store data and allow for retrieval of information after an auto accident. This information can be very important in determining factors that can help determine who the at-fault driver may be. The law also specifies requirements for vehicle manufacturers to make tools and/or methods commercially available so that crash investigators and researchers are able to retrieve data from EDRs.

Although the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, a bureau of the Department of Transportation pushed for mandatory installation of EDR’s in all newly manufactured cars in 2015, its passage was delayed in Congress. However, the regulations apply to vehicles manufactured on or after September 1, 2012, with some exceptions, if they are equipped with an EDR, which in many cases the manufacturers have voluntarily complied. If the EDR is in place, it must meet the current regulations.

The EDR’s will record a multitude of items, some beyond the scope of this article. However, speed, acceleration, deceleration rate caused by the accident, and a multitude of other items will allow accident investigators to “recreate” the accident. This information will make adjusting claims, and if necessary litigating car accidents more streamlined and certain as to specific events. Gone will be the days of witness testimony recounting an event that happened, in some instances in less than a second, many months ago.

Each manufacturer sets the methodology for recovery of the information within the requirements of the regulations. If you have been in an accident, you should determine if your car has an EDR that will record sensitive information that may help your case. You should take steps to preserve the EDR until a technician can be engaged to download the information.

If you find yourself in an accident give us a call to see if you have a viable claim.


About the Author: Rick Woods