SAMAC Articles

Event Data Recorder Use in Canadian Criminal & Civil Collision Reconstruction

In Canada the use of information from Event Data Recorders (EDRs) has become more prevalent in both criminal and civil collision reconstruction, and is routinely admitted as evidence in both legal environments. EDR data has been used in criminal and civil investigations for about 20 years; it will become expected data available to the courts given that 96% of 2015 vehicles are equipped with EDRs. The data retrieved through EDR imaging can give an accurate representation of a collision sequence, with understood error corridors. However, the information must be verified with physical data from the collision, and used as supplemental evidence as part of a complete collision reconstruction. Obtaining access to EDR data is accomplished through different means for criminal and civil investigations; however, the methods, analysis, and use of the data are very similar. All of the limitations and special circumstances specific to the vehicle, module, and collision must be understood to properly image and analyze EDR data. The technology is rapidly evolving, requiring continuous training for complex technical analysis. The increased data provided by an EDR can lead to better, more accurate collision reconstruction.

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