of Sept. 1, 2014, all new cars, light trucks, vans and SUVs sold in the United
States must be equipped with an Event Data Recorder (EDR) in accordance with
This requirement is for all new cars, including imports and hybrids, with a
gross vehicle weight of less than 8,500 pounds.
current list of vehicles with an EDR on board is available here.
The EDR record, once created, must include specific information, cover
specified time frames, approximately 5 seconds, and at established resolution.
Typical records include vehicle speed, throttle position, brake application,
engine speed and velocity change through the collision. Some vehicles also
record steering input angles.
EDRs do not record location, date or time, audio or video, however, many
consumer grade automotive GPS units record significant information. This
includes, speed, direction, time of day and date. GPS recorded data may extend
over several months. Contact Harris Technical Services for more information on
recovering GPS data records.
Many auto manufacturers have installed EDRs in their vehicles voluntarily
prior to the implementation of 49CFR563. These EDRs do not necessarily create
records that are compliant with the federal regulation and there is no
requirement that they be modified.
all models by these manufacturers have an EDR for all years. The type and
amount of recorded data varies considerably. The conditions that must exist,
air bag deployment or non-deployment, front, rear or side impact and/or
rollover, to create a record also varies.
EDR Case Law
United States and Canadian trials where evidence from a Motor Vehicle Event
Data Recorder was introduced.
Statutes on Motor Vehicle Event Data Recorders.
Full text of all state EDR statutes. The
information is current as of August 07, 2014.
of Event Data Recorder Data for Vehicle Safety Improvement
U.S. Dept. of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration, DOT Report 810935, April 2008.
Outside the Black Box: How creative thinking turned an electronic safety tool
into a criminal informant.
article is by Mary W. Craig, Associate Professor of Law at Faulkner University’s Jones School of Law in Montgomery, Alabama.
Dept. of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Final
Rule, 49 CFR Part 563, Event Data Recorders, Aug. 21, 2006.
Final ruling by NHTSA on 49CFR563.
Event Data Recorders - State Statutes and Legal Considerations
This article, by Jim Harris, Harris Technical Services,
appeared in the Accident Reconstruction Journal, Vol. 18, No. 1, Jan/Feb 2008.
The Double Edged Sword that is
the Event Data Recorder
A 2006 paper by
Andrew (Sandy) Askland, College of Law,
Arizona State University, on EDRs and privacy.