How Do Insurance Tracking Devices Play a Role in Car Accidents?

Insurance companies are currently providing reduced premiums in return for permission to monitor your driving behavior. These initiatives operate through either a device installed in your vehicle, a smartphone app, or a combination of both. This can be a strong incentive for drivers as car insurance prices continue to rise

However, Maryland motor vehicle license holders need to understand the potential implications of these monitoring devices in the event of a car accident, particularly concerning fault determination. If you find yourself in an accident after using one of these apps or devices our knowledgeable car crash attorneys in White Marsh and greater Baltimore can help.

Why Do Insurance Companies Monitor My Data?

Insurance tracking devices provide valuable data to insurance companies. These devices are typically installed in vehicles to gather information about driving behavior, such as speed, acceleration, braking patterns, and even the times of day when the vehicle is in use. These apps and devices essentially enable insurance companies to track everything that happens while the car is running.

These devices incentivize safer driving habits among policyholders. Many insurance companies offer discounts or rewards programs for drivers who demonstrate safe behavior based on the data collected by these devices. This creates a mutually beneficial relationship where drivers can lower their insurance premiums while insurance companies reduce their risks and payouts for accidents. As a result, these devices not only serve as a means of data collection but also as tools for promoting road safety and accident prevention.

Safe driving habits can include the following: 

  • Using the brakes
  • Speed and velocity
  • Turning
  • Location
  • Time
  • Car warnings such as lane alerts
  • Phone usage during drivetime

The hope is that knowing this data is being gathered encourages drivers to practice safe driving habits like constantly adhering to speed limits, avoiding phone use, and generally driving responsibly in exchange for reduced premiums. Conversely, if drivers engage in speeding, aggressive driving, or use their phone while driving they may see increased premiums, but the devices don’t always have the intended outcome.

However, insurance tracking devices may inadvertently play a role in car accidents by causing a driver to be distracted, leading to risk-taking behavior. There’s also the question of privacy concerns as the devices may be subject to data hacking and technical issues. It is important for those participating in the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration driving test to understand this before driving on the roads.

Risks of Using Car Insurance Tracking Devices

While insurance tracking devices are primarily intended to reward safe driving behavior with lower insurance premiums, they can inadvertently play a role in car accidents in several ways.

Drivers may become distracted by the presence of the tracking device itself or by the feedback it provides while driving. Constantly checking to see if their driving behavior is being monitored could divert their attention away from the road, increasing the risk of an accident. Some drivers may even attempt to manipulate their driving behavior to appear safer than they are to receive lower insurance premiums. This could lead to risky behaviors such as sudden braking or accelerating excessively, increasing the likelihood of accidents. 

Drivers who receive positive feedback or rewards for their driving behavior from the tracking device may also develop a false sense of security and become less vigilant on the road. This complacency could lead to an increased risk of accidents.

While insurance tracking devices have the potential to promote safer driving habits and reduce accidents, their implementation must be carefully managed to mitigate the unintended consequences outlined above. 

Understanding Contributory Negligence 

Contributory negligence is a legal doctrine that can impact personal injury cases. It suggests that if a person contributes to their own injury through their own negligence or carelessness, they may be barred from recovering damages from other parties who may also be at fault. In Maryland, and other jurisdictions where contributory negligence laws apply, any degree of fault on the part of the injured party can potentially bar them from recovering compensation. This means that whether you are a driver who was driving recklessly or an injured party hit by someone else while you were using your phone or otherwise distracted you may not be able to recover compensation.

Data collected from insurance tracking devices can further complicate your case and potentially be used against you if your driving behavior contributed to the accident in any way. For instance, if the data shows that the injured party was speeding, driving recklessly, or using their phone at the time of the crash, it could be argued that their actions contributed to the accident and therefore, they may be found partially at fault.

However, the data collected by the tracking device could also be used to demonstrate that the injured party was not at fault or that their actions did not contribute to the accident. For example, if the data shows that the injured party was driving within the speed limit and obeying traffic laws, it could support their claim that they were not negligent.

The experienced car crash attorneys at Lauenstein Law Firm understand the ins and outs of contributory negligence and other personal injury laws. If you or someone you know has been injured while using an insurance tracking device, reach out to us today to discuss your case.

Contact the Car Crash Attorneys in White Marsh and Greater Baltimore Today

At Lauenstein Law Firm, we understand the challenges you face after a car crash. Our team of experienced personal injury attorneys is here to guide you through the legal process with compassion and determination. With years of expertise in handling car accident cases, we fight tirelessly to protect your rights and secure the compensation you deserve. Don’t navigate this difficult time alone. Contact the Lauenstein Law Firm today for a consultation and let us help you rebuild your life.