Is your Car BuggedA bill recently passed in the Senate would make it mandatory for car manufacturers in the United States to include Event Data Recorders (EDR) in all of their vehicles. As the name implies, EDRs (also called “black boxes”) are devices installed in vehicles which track various information including whether or not the driver is wearing their seatbelt, how fast the vehicle is travelling, and other various information during an accident. Many people would likely be surprised to learn that their vehicle already has one of these devices installed. In fact, most car manufacturers have been putting them in your vehicle for nearly a decade.

Here’s what you need to know: this information can be used against you in both criminal and civil court. However, you as the owner of the vehicle do have rights over the information stored by the EDR. The only way for third parties to acquire this information is if you sign your rights to this information over to them or if they pursue a court order. Therefore, if keeping this data private is important to you, check your insurance agreement and other contracts to see if they require you to sign over this information.

We frequently use the information as well to prove that our client was not speeding, or used brakes properly, or that the defendant was doing the opposite. The EDRs, correctly downloaded and interpreted, can make or break a case.

Driving safe is always important.  Miller Kory Rowe LLP reminds all of their friends this Holiday season to check their speed, put down the phone, and keep an eye on traffic. Remember, the EDR is watching, or at least recording, you.

To check and see if your vehicle already has an EDR installed see:

https://www.crashforensics.com/files/CDRVehicleList.pdf

For further information see:

https://jalopnik.com/5966628/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-black-boxes-coming-to-your-next-car

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/s1813/text