Tiny Black Box in Your Car Affects Discount Auto Insurance Rates

You know there are Black Boxes in Airplanes but did you know your car most likely has one too. Most automobiles built after 1996 have one. See what they are for and how they affect discount auto insurance rates.

A black box, also known as the Event Data Recorder (EDR) for short, records all of the data during the flight of an aircraft, such as air speed,altitude, and sound and voice transmissions. Typically, black boxes are anything but black. They are usually a vibrant color, which makes them easier to discover in the plane debris following a crash.

Almost everyone knows that airplanes have a black box. What you may not know, however, is that your vehicle might also have one. This box, which is about the size of a box of baking soda, is installed in about 70 percent of all new automobiles. It is unnoticeable and usually sits under your seat or dashboard, and it is automatically turned on when your automobile's airbags are set off.

The event data recorders, only record information in the seconds leading up to and after it realizes your airbags are about to go off. The following information is recorded by the EDR:

Engine speed
Vehicle speed
Throttle Position
Brake Status
If the passenger's airbag is on or off
If the driver's seat belt is off or on
If the IR Warning Light is car impact to airbag deployment
Ignition cycle count at investigation
Ignition cycle count at time of the crash
Maximum velocity before deployment
Velocity vs. time for frontal airbag deployment
Time from car impact to time of maximum velocity
Time between the air bags about to deploy and deployment if it is within five seconds

Insurance Companies use this information to help assess accident data and configure auto insurance prices. Police officers also use the data gathered by the box to reconstruct what happened leading up to the accident.

General Motors has installed black boxes in their cars since 1999, and several other automobile manufacturers have been installing them since 1996. Accident investigators, insurers, law enforcement and government investigators say such information is invaluable to learning how to build safer cars. Privacy advocates say EDRs are a way to obtain data that can be used to incriminate drivers.

Starting in 2011, auto manufactures will be required to let consumers know if their new vehicle has an event data recorder, or "black box". Vehicle makers have been somewhat less than forthcoming about information on the devices, so this is good news.

There are other devises available to install on your car to help you receive Discount Auto Insurance. Progressive Insurance and IVOX Corporation have made devises that monitor your driving habits at all times. So if you install one of these monitors, make sure when getting Free Insurance Quotes to inform your agent so he can add on the additional discount for you. Joseph Welusz www.buzzle.com/articles/tiny-black-box-in-your-car-affects-discount-auto-insurance-rates.html

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