Passenger car and light truck data recorders were originally developed by car manufacturers as diagnostic tools, with the earliest data recorders being used primarily for engine, powertrain and emissions monitoring. In the mid 90’s OEM car manufacturers generally agreed on a common computer communication system architecture (CAN bus).

For passenger vehicle EDR’s produced in 2013 and later, federal regulations required that all crash event data being recorded follow minimum technical specifications and be made available for download with publicly available tools. Many OEM car manufacturers are now covered by the Bosch Vehicle Crash Data Retrieval (CDR) tool, although some have opted to have their own tools or to simply disable any data recording.

In 2013 and later models, the mandate requires EDRs to record applicable data elements, time intervals (if applicable), data sampling rate (if applicable) and to include:

  • Maximum longitudinal (front to back) delta V
  • Time to Maximum delta V
  • Vehicle speed
  • Engine throttle, % Accelerator pedal
  • Service Brake, on/off
  • Ignition cycle at time of crash
  • Ignition cycle at time of download
  • Safety belt status for driver
  • Frontal airbag warning lamp, on/off
  • Frontal air bag deployment time
  • Multi-event numbers
  • Time from event 1 to 2
  • Complete file recorded, yes/no


Additionally, if equipped, vehicle EDR’s may record lateral acceleration (for side airbags), roll rate (for roll stability control), ABS Activation, Traction Control Activation, pre-tensioner deployment, seat positions, and more.

Event Data should be collected by qualified and trained technicians, and the data should be analyzed as an integral part of a full accident reconstruction.  ARCCA has the qualified accident reconstructionists you need to perform both passenger and heavy vehicle/commercial truck accident reconstructions and EDR data retrieval/analyses.

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