Automotive Electronics Banner

Accident Recorders

Basic Description

Accident recorders are systems that constantly record information related to the vehicle operation. In the event of an accident, the recorder saves the information that was recorded several seconds just before and/or just after the collision. Unlike Event Data Recorders, which are installed by the automotive manufacturer and are required on new cars sold in the U.S., accident recorders are after-market systems usually mounted just behind the windshield or on the rear-view mirror. Event data recorders store several seconds of vehicle information which is constantly being overwritten until there is an airbag deployment. Accident recorders may record minutes or even hours of data. Event data recorders do not record video, date and time, or GPS information; while accident recorders often record video inside and/or outside the vehicle while tracking the time and location of the vehicle. Accident recorders may also monitor other parameters such as vehicle speed and vehicle acceleration using their own internal sensors, or by tapping in to the vehicle's on-board diagnostic system.

Event Data Recorder Inputs and Outputs

Accident recorders are often installed in fleet vehicles. They can help protect a company in the event the company is sued following an accident involving one of their drivers. There is also a growing number of drivers that elect to install accident recorders (sometimes referred to as dash cams) in their personal vehicles in order to protect themselves from false liability claims in the event of an accident.

Video camera, acceleration sensor, GPS receiver, vehicle speed, engine rpm, steering wheel angle, accelerator pedal position, throttle position, brake pedal position
Data stored in electronic memory card
Data Communications
Some systems are stand-alone with no data communication to the vehicle.
Other systems monitor CAN or OBDII communications.
Autolismo, BlackVue, AxleTech International, CrashCAM, DS Global, FineVu, Fujitsu Ten, Garmin, HK E-CAR, KiWAV, KCI Communications, Lukas, OBS, Papago, Rosco, SmartDrive, SmartWitness, Stack Motorsport, Uniden, VisionDrive
For More Information
[1] Dashboard Camera Reviews,
[2] After a Crash, Rewind the Rear-view Mirror, Mike Yamamoto,, Feb. 6, 2008.
[3] iCar App Turns an iPhone into a Car Accident Black Box, Ben Coxworth,, Jan. 28, 2011.
[4] Smart Witness Accident Recorder Videos,, 2013.
[5] Car Crash Accident Compilation Part11 by Dash Cam Recorder, YouTube, Aug. 14, 2014.
[6] The Ultimate Guide to Dashboard Cameras, Eyewitness Dashcams website, Feb. 17, 2015.