The existence of telematics is nothing new but using telematics data as evidence in court might not be so familiar. You are probably aware of the many other uses. For example, in Usage-Based Insurance (UBI), fleet management and tracking, stolen vehicle tracking to name a few. However, you perhaps have not heard of its use as evidence in court!
So, here’s the story of how Redtail Telematics device data helped the customer win their case in court!
Recently a road traffic incident went to court – Mitrasinovic versus Stroud – due to a dispute over who was at fault. The car (owned by the defendant) had a Redtail Telematics black box device fitted. The events of the incident were that a large motorcycle had entered a left-hand bend and met a Ford Ka at the apex of the same right hand bend. The GPS trace recorded of the car at the time of the incident, may have suggested that the Ford Ka may have crossed the white line. However, while GPS technology as a whole is great at telling us things such as time, place and speed of a vehicle, location accuracy at the granular level is not so much its forte.
GPS trace data recorded from a black box going around a corner versus smartphone going around a corner. The GPS trace from the smartphone (green line) is of inferior quality to that of the black box (blue line).
So, I hear you ask, if the telematics data couldn’t help with GPS, how did it help?!
The existence of GPS data in black box telematics devices is, I would say, definitely not the most important benefit. There is so much more on offer. For example, all Redtail Telematics devices have accelerometer and gyro. If it’s a Redtail OBD device then you would even get OBD data from our devices too!
I think you know where we’re going with this… The car was equipped with a Redtail Telematics black box whose data was used as evidence in the case. In addition, expert analysis of the data by Redtail assisted the Judge in clearing the car driver of all fault. Indeed, one of the accident reconstruction experts used the accelerometer data to suggest that the car swerved. Therefore, the car driver probably avoided the glancing accident from being a head-on one.
Thanks to these extra offerings, Dr Colin Smithers (Redtail Telematics’ CEO), was able to defend the data from the Redtail Telematics device and stated that “Use of Black Box telematics clearly saves lives and reduces accidents, but importantly can add clarity in situations where memory has long faded and witness accounts disagree. This can act hugely to the benefit of innocent parties”.
Not bad for such a small piece of electronic equipment, eh?!
So that’s the story of how the data from a Redtail Telematics black box device helped in court. The real question now is whether using telematics data will become the norm in court or remain a novelty. I’d like to think that we’re all beginning to trust black box data enough to start accepting its use in situations such as this!