Many drivers jump at the chance to save money on their car insurance. That is why many drivers decide to enroll in their insurance company’s safe driver program, which involves tracking driving habits. Drivers who enroll in these programs and avoid risky driving behaviours could see a reduction in their monthly premiums.
These devices collect a lot of data about driving habits, which raises the question of whether this data could be used in a car accident claim. For example, this data could help your lawyer prove the other driver’s negligence. There may also be a possibility that data from the tracking device in your car could be used against you.
Below, our experienced auto accident lawyers in Windsor discuss how data from these tracking devices may be used in a car accident claim. If you were injured by another driver’s negligence, we are ready to help you seek compensation for the damages you suffered. There are no upfront costs, so our services come with no financial risk.
Contact our firm today to discuss legal options: (866) 320-4770.
How Do Insurance Tracking Devices Work?
Tracking devices are either physical devices that you hook into your car or an app on your smartphone. Some insurance companies have driver discount programs with physical devices and others have discount programs that require drivers to use an app. The physical device is also called a dongle and it gets plugged into the OBD-II port located under the steering wheel.
Some of the car insurance discount programs that track driving behaviour include:
- Aviva Journey from Aviva Canada
- Automerit from Belairdirect
- CAA Connect from CAA Insurance
- Ajusto from Desjardins
- Drivewise from Allstate
What Information Do Insurance Tracking Devices Collect?
If the discount program involves a dongle, the device will collect data picked up by your vehicle’s onboard diagnostic system. Your vehicle has sensors that track things like:
- Tire pressure
- Gas mileage
- Oil life
- Fuel levels
The dongle can use the data collected from these sensors to determine how fast you are going, where you are going, whether you suddenly hit the brakes, and other driving inputs.
If your insurer’s discount program uses a smartphone app, the app can gather information about your driving. The app does not need to tap into the sensors on your vehicle.
Some of the other information that insurance tracking programs may gather include:
- Hard acceleration
- Use of your phone while your car is in motion
- When you are driving, particularly if you are driving at night, as more crashes happen at night
- How often you drive your car
- How fast you drive around corners and when making turns
The information collected from the app or dongle helps the insurance company determine if you are a safe driver who follows the rules of the road. The data could help the insurance company determine if you habitually run through red lights or stop signs or engage in reckless behaviour that increases the risk of a crash.
Could This Data Be Used to Prove a Case?
In short, yes, data from an insurance tracking device could be used to help prove your case. However, insurance companies are not just going to hand over this data to prove their policyholder is liable for damages. If the policyholder is liable, the insurance company must pay out compensation for the victim’s damages.
If your case goes to court, courts can require insurance companies to hand over information collected from a tracking device.
Your lawyer may want to use data from the tracking device in your vehicle to prove you were acting responsibly at the time of the collision. For example, the data may show you were not speeding and were not distracted by your phone at the time of the crash.
Could Insurance Company Tracking Data Be Used Against You?
Possibly, such as if the data was requested by a court during the legal process. No matter what the data indicates, the insurance company may find some way to misinterpret it or take it out of context to try to assign fault to you.
If your case does not make it to court, it is possible the insurance company could gain access to data collected from your vehicle. For example, if you and the at-fault driver have the same insurance company they would have access to your data along with the at-fault driver’s data.
While there are benefits to installing an insurance tracking device in your vehicle, these benefits should be weighed against the possibility of information from these devices being used against you.
Contact Greg Monforton and Partners to Discuss Your Crash
For decades, our lawyers have been working with victims of car accidents in Windsor and throughout Ontario. We have a track record of securing compensation for damages, and there are no upfront costs with our services.
If you have questions after suffering an injury in a crash, contacting a lawyer is an important step in your recovery. The insurance company will be looking to underpay your claim or even deny it entirely.
Call today. An initial consultation is free. Call (866) 320-4770.