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Event Data Recorders

Event data recorders (EDR) offer important benefits in the area of automobile and highway safety.   Our understanding of crashes is currently based on laboratory crash tests and recreations of real-world crashes, which can be unreliable.   EDRs record certain data elements in the seconds prior to and following a crash.  This allows an unprecedented look into the dynamics of real-world crashes, enabling researchers and engineers to improve automobile and highway safety. 

To maximize the benefits of EDRs, all on-road vehicles must contain the recording devices.   That way, researchers have a complete perspective of the performance of vehicles in crashes. 

Approximately two-thirds of new vehicles are equipped with EDRs.  In August 2006, NHTSA issued a final rule standardizing data elements that EDRs record and requiring that manufacturers state in a vehicle’s owner’s manual that the vehicle is equipped with an EDR.  NHTSA should require that all new vehicles be equipped with EDRs and that auto manufacturers also notify consumers on a vehicle’s window sticker that the vehicle is equipped with an EDR.

    » autosafety | vehicles | info | edr


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