Impact of New Data Recording Program on Accident Rates and Litigation
An interesting new program has been launched by Allstate Insurance that involves installing a device on vehicles that is designed to record data on the driving practices of policyholders, in an attempt to reduce the number of car accidents by policyholders. While participation in the program is voluntary, policyholders that participate can receive discounts based on the results of data recorded and cannot be penalized. The device will monitor and record data relevant to auto accident risks like distance driven, sudden braking and speed.
Policyholders who drive fewer miles and are engaged in safer driving practices would be eligible for discounts on their premiums. The program is currently only being tested in a single state but there are plans to expand the program nationally. There is also speculation the program will likely be introduced by other insurance companies. The hope is that the program will result in safer driving practices and a reduction in serious auto accidents.
At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have been representing the victims of auto accidents who are seriously injured, and families of drivers who suffer wrongful death, for over a quarter of a century. We work hard for our clients to get them the compensation they deserve, and handle cases throughout Atlanta and the entire state of Georgia.
This device seems to be similar to onboard data recorders often used in tractor-trailers that preserve data permitting trucking companies to analyze the driving practices and potential issues or problems. The onboard recorders in trucks can provide extremely valuable evidence in a trucking accident case. With respect to Allstate using them in passenger vehicles, it is unclear at this stage whether this type of device will actually have an impact on driving behavior. There are also questions about how this data may be used. If insurance companies begin to use these devices, or if they are otherwise installed on vehicles, this may make a lot of information available that would be relevant in the event of an auto accident. It will be interesting to see how this data is handled in the event of a car accident, especially because an insurance company installs the devices. One must wonder whether auto insurance companies will attempt to protect damaging data regarding their insured's driving practice from discovery by attorneys who represent auto accident victims.
It is easy to envision data being recorded that reveals that a driver was speeding immediately before an accident or following so closely that the driver suddenly slammed on the brakes in an attempt to avoid a collision. This damaging data would be information that an insurance company typically would not want made available to the attorney of an auto accident victim. In commercial trucking accidents, this issue already exists, and Georgia trucking accident attorneys must send spoliation letters to advise trucking companies that the data must be preserved because of pending litigation. If these data recorders become common, Georgia car accident attorneys may have to send similar letters to auto insurance carriers.
It will be interesting to see whether this type of data recorder will impact driving behavior and reduce auto accidents. However, it would certainly help explain the cause of accidents and provide valuable information to accident reconstruction experts following a car crash. The attorneys at Montlick and Associates plan to watch this new technology closely because it could be a valuable tool in future car accident litigation. Our experienced Georgia auto accident attorneys are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located we are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.