Car malefactions or crashes are some of the inevitable incidences that every vehicle owner would experience at one point or the other.

This makes it very important for a vehicle owner to anticipate, diagnose and resolve. One device that can help handle these outcomes is the Event data recorder (EDR).

The Event data recorder is often referred to as the vehicle automotive “black box.” Prior to now, black boxes have been a phenomenon associated with airplanes but today, it is very possible to retrieve crash report and malfunctions after an incident has occurred with the event data recorder.


Event data recorder (EDR) is a device installed in vehicles to record incidences, technical breakdown or crash before during or after an event occurs.

This module constantly monitors the operating system of the vehicle like the percent throttle, engine speed, brakes, and others. In the case of a collision, data from the penultimate seconds of the crash are stored in the computer chip for later retrieval.

The older technology of the event data recorder was installed and designed to monitor airbag deployment during a crash.


However, as technology continued to advance, it was found that the chip could do much more, and so manufacturers begin to explore to accommodate and include more to achieve further solutions.

What Does The Edr Store?

A standard event data recorder according to the National Highway Transportation Administration (NHTA) is expected to record and store 15 types of crash data. These are:

  • Accelerator position
  • Airbag deployment
  • The speed of the vehicle
  • Front seat position
  • Occupant size
  • Safety belt engagement
  • Engine rpm
  • Forward and lateral crash force
  • Steering wheel angle
  • Stability control engagement
  • Vehicle roll angle
  • Break application and antilock brake activation
  • Crash event duration
  • The number of times the car been started

These recording may vary or even include much more depending on the vehicle manufacturer and model of the car.


What Are The Benefits Of An Event Data Recorder?

According to the crash report of 2005 in the United States, fatalities associated with car crash reached an astounding 43,200.


The age range of these fatalities was between 5 to 33 ages and despite these causalities, much was not done to ascertain truly the cause of these crashes until recently through legislation vehicle makers were mandated to install event data recorders in all vehicles.

In 2013, over 95% of vehicles produced in the United States have the event data recorder installed and this has helped in the investigation of crash reports and vehicle malfunctions.


One of the benefits of the event data recorder is that it can be used to monitor trip duration vehicle location with a precision route and day time.

This precision not only reduces the individual’s risks but helps to reveal preference and consumption pattern.


As a corporate entity, insurance companies have come to appreciate the benefit of the event data recorder as a way of ascertaining with precision the calculation of individual risks.

However, this may not be so comfortable for insurance buyers who may trade off privacy for the insurance companies to calculate premiums.


Just like the black box of an airplane, the event data recorder stores all data during and after an accident occurs and this information can be retrieved to show the cause of the crash. More so, retrieved data from the event data recorder can be used and presented in the law court as a piece of evidence to back up to a claim in the absence of proof or witness.

For instance, the crash pulse; this gives a pre-crash data which are used to evaluate a driver’s responsibility in a crash case.


This singular attribute has had an effective outcome in prosecuting actual offenders in the case of collision.

To Wrap It Up

Event data recorders are useful for the process of reconstruction of damaged vehicles as they can provide information on pre-impact inputs.


In the case where the location of crash impact becomes difficult, the EDR becomes a veritable tool to resolve such problems.

The acceptance of the event data recorder has grown over time.

And, like the former technology, there is a lot to be achieved with a growing interest and continuous use by insurance and corporate bodies more innovation will be added to make its usefulness more encompassing.

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