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Daniels Law Firm PLLC

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Cars Have Black Boxes Too

Dec 9, 2020

When an airplane crashes, we wait for results from the “black box” to tell us what may have happened. Many newer cars come with what is essentially a black box as well.  They are called data collection devices, ECM’s ( electronic control modules ) or technically, telematics devices. These are installed at the factory in newer models, and the recorded information is only available through a download process. However, some insurance companies will offer customers discounts to install similar, after market market, devices, and if monitoring shows good driving habits, that person can earn discounts. Progressive calls their program Snapshot, State Farm has Drive Safe & Save, and Nationwide’s is SmartRide. Whether or not you want to participate in this kind of program is your decision, but be aware of the information these devices can detect:

  • Speed
  • Breaking
  • When you’re driving
  • When you turn
  • Where you park
  • Even if you are wearing your seatbelt, and
  • If you’re using your phone.

Any of this information can be used to show what happened in an accident.  Insurance companies use this data to determine which driver was at fault. In essence, you will be sharing your driving history with the insurance company. This is not necessarily bad, but be aware, and make sure that you understand that before having these devices installed. Drive safe!

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