Cars increasingly track driver behavior

On behalf of Tim L. Fields posted in Car Accidents on Monday, June 20, 2016.

Louisiana drivers who own Teslas may be transmitting information about their driving back to the company over the Internet, and experts say that by 2020, more than 90 percent of car companies will be doing so. Most cars sold now have data recorders than can help reconstruct accidents, but over a June weekend, one driver learned that those recorders were providing far more information than had been believed.

The driver had crashed into a building and said that the Tesla Model X SUV accelerated suddenly. However, information received by Tesla indicated that the car was traveling slowly when someone pressed on the accelerator with full force.

As cars increasingly gather data on driver behavior, they may use it for a number of purposes ranging from possibly entering the car insurance business to promotions. The technology may also have some side effects that neither drivers nor car companies might appreciate. Car companies could be asked to assist law enforcement while drivers may dislike what feels like an infringement on their privacy. However, studies have also shown that this type of surveillance leads to greater safety.

It might also result in the person at fault in an accident being more clearly identified, and this could be important for people who are injured in a motor vehicle accident. These injuries can be devastating, and an insurance company might try to avoid paying the full compensation that a person expects to receive. Whether or not the injured person or the driver responsible for the car crash has this technology, it might be possible for the victim's attorney to negotiate with the insurance company. Another alternative may be for the injured person to file a lawsuit against the driver. If the driver was negligent, the lawsuit might be successful even if there are no criminal charges associated with the incident.

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