Event Data Recorder Analysis

Increasingly, vehicles are becoming more technologically advanced, with such features as traction control, electronic stability control and second generation, dual stage airbags. This holds true too, for the data that can be stored within vehicles in the event of a crash.


Currently, there are millions of vehicles on the road that are equipped with event data recorders (EDRs), which can be downloaded using publicly available software to obtain crash-related data. This information can include, among other parameters, pre-impact speed, throttle position, brake application and seatbelt use. The information available is vehicle-specific and can even include such data as outside air temperature and transmission shift position.

Our engineers have the equipment and training to download EDRs and interpret collision-related data from many GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda and Volvo vehicles using the Bosch CDR system. Downloads have also been obtained from non supported vehicles, such as Audi and BMW, as well as heavy truck engine control modules (ECM’s). Current legislation requires that all passenger vehicles sold in the US after September 2012 have a minimum of data stored in the event of a crash. Because of our close ties with the US, this rule affects most or all vehicles sold in Canada, as well. View a list of current vehicle coverage (pdf file) or contact us.

Extensive testing has been done to establish the validity and limitations of these devices. With the increase in use of personal and commercial GPS units in vehicles, our engineers have conducted research into the accuracy of data from these sources as well. The results of a download should always be interpreted in conjunction with the available physical evidence (vehicle damage, skid marks, etc.) when reconstructing a collision. Make sure the EDR is preserved before the vehicle is sold or destroyed.

Call us today to see if your vehicle has collision-related data.


David M. Little P.Eng.
Jonathan P. Gough P.Eng.