What are the Legal Risks of Using Car Insurance Tracking Devices?
New technology constantly alters how we approach car accidents, and tracking devices represent a clear example of how the legal world continues to evolve. An increasing number of drivers are choosing to install car insurance tracking devices, and these individuals assume that the technology offers several benefits with no potential downsides. However, this is not exactly true – and there are several legal risks associated with using tracking devices on your vehicle.
What is a Car Insurance Tracking Device?
A car insurance tracking device measures a range of factors associated with your driving patterns. It records this data, making information available upon request to insurance companies and other relevant parties. These tracking devices may serve several purposes. First of all, they have the potential to lower your premiums if the data suggests that you are operating your vehicle in a safe, responsible manner. Secondly, the devices can potentially provide evidence in the event of an injury claim or a personal injury lawsuit.
Car insurance tracking devices are tools used in Usage-Based Car Insurance – also known simply as “UBI.” Another common phrase is “black box car insurance.” This strategy has the potential to lower rates for average drivers while helping insurers mitigate risk. Insurance companies love data, as it is only with access to information that they can accurately assess risk. If they cannot accurately assess risk using the most up-to-date data, it may become very challenging to turn a profit and avoid losses.
These tracking devices may calculate a range of data based on telematics technology. They also work in tandem with apps that drivers install on their smartphones. Depending on the type of device, it might collect data based on total distance traveled, acceleration rates, sudden braking, and top speeds. This data can theoretically illustrate how safe or dangerous a driver is on the road.
A Tracking Device is a Double-Edged Sword
On one hand, a tracking device definitely has the potential to help drivers lower their rates. If you are confident in your ability to drive safely or travel low distances each month, it may be worth installing a tracking device. Supply this data to your insurer, and you might save a solid chunk of change each month on your insurance premiums. Many of the nation’s largest insurance companies now offer these types of programs to their customers.
This information might also be useful in the event of a car accident. The tracking device could help you establish that you were not at fault for the accident. For example, it could show that you were traveling below the speed limit. It might also show that you braked quickly, helping to establish that you were not distracted moments before the crash. In this way, a tracking device might play a similar role compared to dashcam footage during a personal injury trial or settlement negotiations.
On the other hand, tracking devices can provide negative information that paints you in a bad light. The data could show that you have been routinely breaking the speed limit, braking suddenly, and accelerating in a reckless manner. Drivers should be very careful about how their data is collected and how it is provided to the insurance company. Often, a seemingly friendly app comes with fine print. The terms and conditions might stipulate that all of the data collected by the black box will be provided to your insurer – even the data that increases your premiums.
In the event of a car crash, this information could be used against you. It might show that you have slammed on the brakes far too late to avoid an accident. It might show that you traveled a long distance after striking a pedestrian – possibly leading to hit-and-run charges. Whatever the case may be, it is important to consider the pros and cons of using these devices before installing them on your vehicle. Generally speaking, you should only use tracking devices if you are extremely confident about your own driving abilities.
Get Advice From a Qualified Attorney Today
Whether you are considering whether or not to use car insurance tracking devices or you’re in the middle of a complicated injury claim, a qualified attorney can offer targeted advice based on your specific situation. Reach out to the Personal Injury Legal Group today to discuss the pros and cons of insurance tracking devices alongside an experienced injury lawyer. With our assistance, you can make the most appropriate choice and push back against insurance companies that are refusing to provide compensation. Schedule a consultation today.