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Old February 9th, 2013, 07:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default the progressive snapshot

has anyone ever used one? i got it coming in the mail hopefully i can save some money on my car insurance! they monitor stuff like braking hard so my wife might be in trouble. lol

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Old February 9th, 2013, 12:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I own a similar device that only I can read the output from.

Letting your insurance company monitor your driving behavior might seem like a good idea at first blush, but IME it looks like a great way for the insurance company to jack up your rates, or even deny a claim because "the thing says it's your fault".

It's bad enough that auto makers put their own secret "black boxes" into most newer cars, so they can CYA themselves if there's a crash. There's one thing that you can be sure of: they're not going to use that data to help you.

Most if not all of the data being collected can be interpreted to mean practically anything. And if it's your story vs. "what the box said" you don't stand a chance.

I'm no longer a Progressive customer after they doubled my insurance rates after an underage driver hit my parked car and drove away. I never filed a claim with my insurance company; I caught the hit and run driver myself, and his parents' insurance company paid up. I even had surveillance camera video that proved that I wasn't operating the car when it got hit!

When I was in the body shop having my car repaired, I ran into a Progressive adjuster and told him my story. He said that he doesn't use Progressive to insure his car! He also gave me the name of another insurance company that has been a lot more reasonable.

One more thing. Progressive spends a LOT of money on advertising. Where do you think the money to pay for all that TV advertising comes from? Your insurance premiums, of course! Find an insurer that doesn't spend much on advertising, and you'll save more money that way, no strings attached.
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Old February 9th, 2013, 12:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: the progressive snapshot

While I agree on the snapshot device. I have to take issue with a couple of things. I work for a major ins co.... bigger than progressive. Ins don't jack up rates for a non fault loss unless you have a history of several Losses and you are determined to be a bigger risk. So clearly we aren't getting the whole story.

Secondly advertising is generally paid with by the companies investments not normally the premiums they collect.
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Old February 9th, 2013, 02:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My problem with the snapshot - if someone else uses *my* vehicle and they don't fasten their seat belt, or hard accelerate from stop every time, etc. then it reflects on my statistics (and theoretically, my premium).
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Old February 10th, 2013, 07:05 AM   #5 (permalink)
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While I agree on the snapshot device. I have to take issue with a couple of things. I work for a major ins co.... bigger than progressive. Ins don't jack up rates for a non fault loss unless you have a history of several Losses and you are determined to be a bigger risk. So clearly we aren't getting the whole story.
That other part of the story is that the insurance industry often does dishonest things that defame the reputations of innocent people. Kind of like what you're doing here by insinuating that I must be secretly a bad driver. Well I'm not. But as you no doubt already know, insurance companies often defame good drivers to weasel out of paying up when one of their insured is at fault for big losses. And people like me who have limited financial means, and no time for a protracted court battle have no true recourse when they do it.

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Secondly advertising is generally paid with by the companies investments not normally the premiums they collect.
That's a novel excuse. I know that all sorts of businesses play the markets instead of doing the business that they claim to be in. Why is that?

What does an "insurance" company that got stuck with a bunch of credit default swaps do? Stop advertising? Cut their CEO's pay? I wasn't born yesterday.
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Old February 10th, 2013, 07:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Speed Daemon View Post
I own a similar device that only I can read the output from.

Letting your insurance company monitor your driving behavior might seem like a good idea at first blush, but IME it looks like a great way for the insurance company to jack up your rates, or even deny a claim because "the thing says it's your fault".

It's bad enough that auto makers put their own secret "black boxes" into most newer cars, so they can CYA themselves if there's a crash. There's one thing that you can be sure of: they're not going to use that data to help you.

Most if not all of the data being collected can be interpreted to mean practically anything. And if it's your story vs. "what the box said" you don't stand a chance.

I'm no longer a Progressive customer after they doubled my insurance rates after an underage driver hit my parked car and drove away. I never filed a claim with my insurance company; I caught the hit and run driver myself, and his parents' insurance company paid up. I even had surveillance camera video that proved that I wasn't operating the car when it got hit!

When I was in the body shop having my car repaired, I ran into a Progressive adjuster and told him my story. He said that he doesn't use Progressive to insure his car! He also gave me the name of another insurance company that has been a lot more reasonable.

One more thing. Progressive spends a LOT of money on advertising. Where do you think the money to pay for all that TV advertising comes from? Your insurance premiums, of course! Find an insurer that doesn't spend much on advertising, and you'll save more money that way, no strings attached.
Progressive was the cheapest by far for me. weird.

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My problem with the snapshot - if someone else uses *my* vehicle and they don't fasten their seat belt, or hard accelerate from stop every time, etc. then it reflects on my statistics (and theoretically, my premium).
no one drives my vehicle so im ok there i didnt know they monitored seat-belts tho.
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Old February 10th, 2013, 08:56 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Great idea as long as its voluntary. Hate that the government is mandating it. I'd never get one because I differentiate illegal and unsafe driving. Not all illegal driving moves are unsafe, and not all legal drivers are safe drivers.
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Old February 10th, 2013, 09:18 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Great idea as long as its voluntary. Hate that the government is mandating it. I'd never get one because I differentiate illegal and unsafe driving. Not all illegal driving moves are unsafe, and not all legal drivers are safe drivers.
IME just trying to obey all traffic laws all the time will bring so many angry drivers down on you that you'll not be able to keep it up for long. The default driving condition on most American roads is total lawlessness. It wasn't always like that, but it is now, with no end in sight.

I agree about the voluntary part and government mandates. But here in the US, deregulation has created corporate enterprises that have as much or more power than many governments do. Which would you prefer: a Big Brother that you can go to the polls and replace if you don't like what's being done? Or a Big Brother who answers to no-one, and you can't do anything about?

Absolute power corrupts absolutely. It's the corruption that's the problem, not whether it's "public sector" or "private sector".
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Old February 10th, 2013, 07:39 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I can't believe anybody would allow their insurance company to place a tracking device in their car. It's not just Progressive, either, all of the major companies are are either planning or have their own programs. I was shocked when I read an article last week stating that something like 76% of people would do this to save a few bucks. Sure it might be voluntary now, but how long before the insurance industry lobbyists stuff enough money into government pockets to have this mandated? Wake up, people. This cannot end well unless people stand up and say "hell, no!"

I'll drive my car any way I damn well please, thank you very much.
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Old February 10th, 2013, 08:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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IME just trying to obey all traffic laws all the time will bring so many angry drivers down on you that you'll not be able to keep it up for long. The default driving condition on most American roads is total lawlessness. It wasn't always like that, but it is now, with no end in sight.

I agree about the voluntary part and government mandates. But here in the US, deregulation has created corporate enterprises that have as much or more power than many governments do. Which would you prefer: a Big Brother that you can go to the polls and replace if you don't like what's being done? Or a Big Brother who answers to no-one, and you can't do anything about?

Absolute power corrupts absolutely. It's the corruption that's the problem, not whether it's "public sector" or "private sector".
A purchase is a vote, too. Some might have more voting power than others, but in the end, its still its own democracy. And man yof hte powers that corporations have today are thanks to big brother stepping in in their favor. A little money greases that palm nicely...

As far as a vote changing things. I haven't seen too much of that, lately. Seems that no matter which way one votes, things don't change at all. Call me a cynic or paranoid, but I don't see much difference between either party as far as wanting to intrude on your life goes. There are a few, granted, but not many.
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Old February 11th, 2013, 12:05 AM   #11 (permalink)
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The whole insurance thing is a scam to begin with.

I had Blue Cross/ Blue Shield of GA for 21 months. I started out paying something like $150 / month (single, smoker). By the time I ended hte policy I was paying a little over $200 / month.

And why did I cancel? Well, here's the thing - I ended up cracking my knuckle on my right hand, and the pain was identical to when I had (5 years prior) cracked my knuckle on my left hand. BCBS refused to pay a $148 X-ray bill for my right hand stating that "it was a pre-existing condition." A friggin chip broken off the bone, making it painful to use my hand, and it was pre-existing???

Go %&^$#%^$ yourselves, insurance companies. You're the biggest farce ever purported on civilized society.
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Old February 11th, 2013, 07:38 AM   #12 (permalink)
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The whole insurance thing is a scam to begin with.
I disagree. IMHO the original idea of insurance was a noble one. And it worked quite well for as long as there was public oversight to ensure that it was an equitable deal.

That all fell apart during the '80s when too many Americans bought into the fallacy that "you can have your cake and eat it too" and willfully dewercs the whole thing up.

I think it's important to remember that:
  1. It wasn't always like it is now.
  2. It doesn't have to be this way.
  3. We can change it back if we work together.
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Old February 12th, 2013, 04:14 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I used the snapshot program and got 27% off my insurance.

I do not believe they monitor seat-belt use, as it doesn't say on their site, and it was never listed in any of my reports when I looked at them.

To get the most out of the snap shot you should look at what makes you a "higher risk" driver according to their stats. Driving between the hours of 6-8am, 11am-1pm 5-7pm and anything after midnight.

It looks at how long you drive each day (each individual trip and total in a day) I believe they suggest keeping your trips 30min and under each way

They look at how many miles you drive per trip and total per day

They watch how fast you accelerate and decelerate

And the last thing i remember was the time of day you drive.

all those factors are added up and averaged to give you a percentage. After 30 days you will get an initial deduction (mine was the full 30%) but it can go down from there (i was told it wouldn't) Then for the next two months everything is done the same and then you will get your permanent discount. The snap shot program can only lower your payments, it cannot raise your cost. So I didn't really see anything bad with it, all I had to do is show not all 21y/o are bad drivers. That 27% saves me $50 a month, which I am happy with haha.
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Old February 13th, 2013, 05:11 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I used the snapshot program and got 27% off my insurance.
That's what they want you to believe, but how do you know it's really true? Who's to say they haven't been overcharging you all along? The illusory discount is one of the biggest scams around!

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/19/books/review/Shapiro-t.html?_r=0

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I do not believe they monitor seat-belt use, as it doesn't say on their site, and it was never listed in any of my reports when I looked at them.
These devices plug into the OBDII port, and OBDII doesn't monitor seat belt use. But that "black box" that nobody in the business likes to talk about does. And the information it contains may be used against you! You might want to check your contract, because you may have unwittingly signed away the last of your civil rights to the whim of your insurance company. It might not be a big deal most of the time, but if, God forbid, you are involved in a major crash with injuries, you could be the chump that the various insurance companies decide to pin the whole blame on, using the half-truths that these data recorders only provide as "evidence".

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To get the most out of the snap shot you should look at what makes you a "higher risk" driver according to their stats. Driving between the hours of 6-8am, 11am-1pm 5-7pm and anything after midnight.
So in other words you're being profiled, and not fairly.

Ironically I often pick those off-peak driving hours precisely because the less crowded roads, with a lot less drivers who are late for work and driving crazy, precisely because it's safer to avoid those hazards. But if Progressive says that beating the rush hour traffic and showing up early for work is "higher risk" I guess I'm magically a bad driver just because they said so. No thanks!

Quote:
It looks at how long you drive each day (each individual trip and total in a day) I believe they suggest keeping your trips 30min and under each way
That's interesting since decades of traffic statics say that you're far more likely to get into a crash on those short trips when you're closer to home. I'm seeing a pattern of "alternate reality"...

I'll stop there and let the contrary conclusions speak for themselves. Anything can be taken out of context and twisted around, and it looks like that's precisely their intention in this case.

I think that it's sadly ironic and weirdly telling that the new ad campaign for this electronic tattle-tale has "Flo" playing the part of a drug dealer.

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The snap shot program can only lower your payments, it cannot raise your cost. So I didn't really see anything bad with it...
You might want to read the fine print, or have a lawyer go over it for you. There's a saying: "If something seems to be too good to be true, it probably is." Well, this one looks like a loaded gun pointed at your head.

Don't say I didn't warn you.
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Old February 13th, 2013, 05:58 AM   #15 (permalink)
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What about the other one with Flo looking a lot like Big Brother? On the giant screens everywhere.

It's all good while they lull people into a false sense of security, then they give enough "campaign contributions" (read:bribes) to get a law passed making it mandatory, or just raise the rates astronomically for those who refuse to play along. But the drug dealer thing is apt. "come on, just try it,... you'll like it,... the first one is free".
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Old February 13th, 2013, 06:07 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Oh, yeah about those times:
6-8 AM- when most people are driving to work
11AM-1PM- lunch time
5-7PM- driving home from work
any time after midnight- what the hell else is left?

"guys, I can't drive until after 7, my rates might go up". smh
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Old February 13th, 2013, 08:03 AM   #17 (permalink)
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What about the other one with Flo looking a lot like Big Brother? On the giant screens everywhere.
That too!

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It's all good while they lull people into a false sense of security, then they give enough "campaign contributions" (read:bribes) to get a law passed making it mandatory, or just raise the rates astronomically for those who refuse to play along. But the drug dealer thing is apt. "come on, just try it,... you'll like it,... the first one is free".
Precisely. When I was looking up the proper name for the automotive "black box", Google returned a lot of news articles ranging from reports that 95% of cars in America already have them to reports that these devices will soon be mandated by law. And when that happens, the insurance companies and traffic cops alike will be able to use these to raise rates and deny claims, and to write tickets!

Quote:
Oh, yeah about those times:
6-8 AM- when most people are driving to work
11AM-1PM- lunch time
5-7PM- driving home from work
any time after midnight- what the hell else is left?

"guys, I can't drive until after 7, my rates might go up". smh
Hmm... When I lived in Chicago, rush hour was all day, every day. But IME the most desperate (and therefore reckless) drivers weren't the ones who left for work at the crack of dawn; it was the ones who were trying to beat the clock right before 9AM, or minimize their lateness right after 9. Likewise, the ones who had something to leave work early for were the big hazards, not the ones who were resigned to getting home at 7PM.

My favorite time to pop out to Walgreen's, the bank or McDonald's is after midnight because the roads are virtually empty.

I've also had many jobs that had me working the late shifts. People sure do like to have their electricity, gas and running water 24x7. So why should the people who make that possible suffer even more (shift work can wreck your long-term sleeping patterns) for providing what society demands?

It looks like they're using a "one size, we don't care if it doesn't fit you" standard, and it looks suspiciously like social engineering.
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Old February 13th, 2013, 08:20 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I work nights. Driving home around 2AM, I'm usually the only car on the road, besides cops.
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Old February 13th, 2013, 08:34 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Oh believe me I know they are over charging in the first place, but there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. In the state of MN it is required for you to have insurance on your vehicle. Before I turned 21 it cost me 1500 for 6 months because i had ONE speeding ticket that was going to be off my record in just a few months. When I turned 21 and the speeding ticket was no longer on my record, it was down to 1200 or 1300 and with my 27% discount I'm under 1000 for six months which I find to be much better than the original 1500 I was paying.

They over charge because they know they can get away with it, but I was alright for giving up 3 months up my driving to get a lower rate.

And i did read the fine print while I was using it, and here is what it says about one of the areas you're talking about:
Quote:
Snapshot data may be useful in determining the cause of an automobile accident. If you're in an accident, you may have a legal obligation to preserve the information on the device. This information may be sought by opposing parties in a civil lawsuit or by police when investigating the cause of an accident, or we may be legally obligated to provide such information in response to a subpoena or as otherwise required by law. In the event that you have an insurance claim with us, we will not use the data to resolve the claim without first obtaining your permission or (if not you) the registered vehicle owner's permission. There may also be instances where we're required to provide driving information to a state department of insurance in order to support renewal rates.
But I haven't had the device in my car for a year now, the only thing tracking my driving now is the black box.. and onstar
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Old February 13th, 2013, 09:46 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Those hours are the hours in which I leave for work or come back home as a teacher. Ew, no thanks. Don't know if my 2012 Jetta TDI has a black box, but I hope it doesn't have one.
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Old February 13th, 2013, 10:31 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Don't know if my 2012 Jetta TDI has a black box, but I hope it doesn't have one.
2012? Yes, you have one.
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Old February 13th, 2013, 10:48 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Not to get to far off subject but I have done a little research on the black box and found this informative site

IIHS-HLDI

according to it, VW is not one of the manufacturers that have been voluntarily putting these devices in all their vehicles, but its not to say they didn't.
The owner of the vehicle owns all data in the ERD (black box) and it can only be accessed with owner consent or court order. But in some cases with insurers, your contract may state that you must comply with their demand for the data recorded on the device

I see both a positive and a negative side to it. If you know that you had nothing to do with an accident other than being there, the black box can help you. But it can also work against you. They only save data if an accident has been detected. I'd rather just not have it in my vehicle.
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Old February 13th, 2013, 10:53 AM   #23 (permalink)
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And i did read the fine print while I was using it, and here is what it says about one of the areas you're talking about:

(omitted)

But I haven't had the device in my car for a year now, the only thing tracking my driving now is the black box.. and onstar
My biggest concern was language that would have given the insurance company blanket permission to use all data sources, including the black box. I can imagine that a car owner who is unaware of the black box would assume that they were only referring to the OBDII plug-in data, and unwittingly sign away all legal protections against the black box being used against them.

This could become moot if the feds mandate black boxes and set their own rules about how that data can be used.

I used to love driving, but things have changed. Between the people whose full attention is on their cellphone, and the amped-up road-raging SUV drivers (lay off the Starbucks, dude!), the "thrill of driving" has become the wrong kind of stimulation. I'm looking forward to retiring to a place that has really good public transportation, so I can let someone else deal with all the road bandits.
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Old February 13th, 2013, 11:30 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I see both a positive and a negative side to it. If you know that you had nothing to do with an accident other than being there, the black box can help you. But it can also work against you. They only save data if an accident has been detected. I'd rather just not have it in my vehicle.
It's only a positive if you have ample money to pay a very good lawyer to make sure that the data is interpreted fairly.

Here's the scary part:

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EDRs can provide information about a crash that can't be obtained through more traditional investigation techniques. Police, crash investigators, automakers, insurance adjusters and highway safety researchers can use this information to analyze what occurred during a crash. The data may help automakers improve occupant restraint systems and vehicle structures.

EDRs may be useful in determining culpability. For example, EDR data from a car involved in an August 2002 crash in Florida showed the vehicle was traveling at 114 mph seconds before it struck another vehicle, killing two passengers. The EDR data were used to convict the driver of manslaughter.
Traditional techniques like measuring skid distances can be used to determine vehicle speed. Why would the EDR data be so different?

When I was younger and drive more cars with automatic transmissions and poor tires, it was not uncommon to get your 120 MPH speedo pinned while you're spinning your wheels, going nowhere. It's possible to be a driver on a slippery road, who's crawling along with your wheels spinning, and have an out-of-control driver at speed slam into you, killing a passenger. You're badly injured but the other driver walks away from the wreck, and proceeds to lie up a storm, telling a story that blames you.

Between the ice-covered road and the tracks made by the emergency vehicles, the physical evidence was destroyed. The cops should have preserved it, but to cover up their mistake they suggest using the EDR in your car (the other one doesn't have one). They see the 100MPH+ speed numbers and you're toast. You wake up in a prison hospital to learn that you've been convicted in absentia of voluntary manslaughter.

Think it can't happen? The real question is "would you bet your future on it?"

When an airliner crashes, the pilots get a lot of support from the pilot's union. In practically every crash, all other parties (the airlines, the plane manufacturer etc.) are reliant on each-other for business, but are more than happy to throw the pilot to the wolves as the scapegoat. The pilots have to fight hard for fair treatment. And all too often "pilot error" is stamped as the primary cause, even though every plane crash has a complex cause.

As a driver, you don't have a union to back you up, and because hundreds of millions of dollars aren't on the line and car crashes are far more frequent, you're not going to get the kind of attention to detail that plane crashes get. But interested parties like the auto maker would rather it's you who gets the blame. I wouldn't want to risk my freedom on such a slippery slope!
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Old February 13th, 2013, 10:03 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I'm with Speed. I like Speed... I seem to agree with you a lot. lol


Did you guys see that former FBI (or was it CIA) agent who tried to remove Onstar?
I can't find the article now, but he had to gut nearly every electronic device in the car to finally completely kill it.
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Old February 14th, 2013, 06:41 AM   #26 (permalink)
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It's only a positive if you have ample money to pay a very good lawyer to make sure that the data is interpreted fairly.

Here's the scary part:

Traditional techniques like measuring skid distances can be used to determine vehicle speed. Why would the EDR data be so different?

When I was younger and drive more cars with automatic transmissions and poor tires, it was not uncommon to get your 120 MPH speedo pinned while you're spinning your wheels, going nowhere. It's possible to be a driver on a slippery road, who's crawling along with your wheels spinning, and have an out-of-control driver at speed slam into you, killing a passenger. You're badly injured but the other driver walks away from the wreck, and proceeds to lie up a storm, telling a story that blames you.

Between the ice-covered road and the tracks made by the emergency vehicles, the physical evidence was destroyed. The cops should have preserved it, but to cover up their mistake they suggest using the EDR in your car (the other one doesn't have one). They see the 100MPH+ speed numbers and you're toast. You wake up in a prison hospital to learn that you've been convicted in absentia of voluntary manslaughter.

Think it can't happen? The real question is "would you bet your future on it?"


When an airliner crashes, the pilots get a lot of support from the pilot's union. In practically every crash, all other parties (the airlines, the plane manufacturer etc.) are reliant on each-other for business, but are more than happy to throw the pilot to the wolves as the scapegoat. The pilots have to fight hard for fair treatment. And all too often "pilot error" is stamped as the primary cause, even though every plane crash has a complex cause.

As a driver, you don't have a union to back you up, and because hundreds of millions of dollars aren't on the line and car crashes are far more frequent, you're not going to get the kind of attention to detail that plane crashes get. But interested parties like the auto maker would rather it's you who gets the blame. I wouldn't want to risk my freedom on such a slippery slope!
Bit of a stretch there, no? Despite the poor conditions and lack of crime scene preservation in your little story, there's a good chance a person with common sense could deduce what happened based on the damage to the vehicles.

Here's the way I see the "black boxes", if you're not doing anything wrong, what do you have to hide? Yes, you should review your insurance policy and make sure you haven't signed that they can use the data without further permission, but the cops and the court need a court order or your permission to review the data. However, some of us (myself included) have likely not physically signed anything to agree to ANYTHING different than what they originally agreed to when the policy was put in place (around 10 years and 2+ vehicles ago in my case).

Unless things have changed, the EDR will only maintain crash data if the airbags deploy. I was rear-ended last June, neither vehicle had airbag deployment (though his hood crumpled nicely). For all the cops know, I slammed on my brakes because the guy was riding too close (this was absolutely not the case, just making an example) but because there was no airbag deployment that data isn't recorded so it's a he-said-he-said situation.

For what it's worth, I'm on Nationwide, and even with employer discounts or other "promotional" discounts, other providers can't beat the reates I'm paying, based on the quick quotes on their sites. Under $1000 a year for full coverage on a brand new vehicle (well it's 18 months old now) and renter's insurance.
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Old February 14th, 2013, 07:17 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Bit of a stretch there, no?
Considering that I was using an actual crash that happened yesterday as my template, no it's not at all a stretch.

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there's a good chance a person with common sense could deduce what happened based on the damage to the vehicles.
I must take notice of the fact that you can't possibly have any idea about what the chances are. It's wishful thinking, nothing more. And as I already explained, the system isn't based on common sense.

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Here's the way I see the "black boxes", if you're not doing anything wrong, what do you have to hide?
That argument has been debunked so many times that it's not even worth discussion. The Fifth Amendment protections against self-incrimination are proof positive that innocent people do in fact have a legitimate need to hide things in an adversarial justice system.

You're free to trust the system with blind faith if you like. But I sure wouldn't!
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Old February 14th, 2013, 07:27 AM   #28 (permalink)
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I'm with Speed. I like Speed... I seem to agree with you a lot. lol
That's good. Just keep on agreeing and everything will be fine. It would be a shame if you met with some unfortunate...accident, capice?

j/k, the feeling is mutual!

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Did you guys see that former FBI (or was it CIA) agent who tried to remove Onstar?
I can't find the article now, but he had to gut nearly every electronic device in the car to finally completely kill it.
Can't say I have, but from what I know about Onstar, once you kill the cellular radio, it can't do much.
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Old February 14th, 2013, 11:26 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Well, I can't find the story anymore, as I said, so I'm not sure how much stock to put into it now. The gist of it was that the system he had was still at least storing GPS information that could later be retreived.
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Old February 14th, 2013, 11:54 AM   #30 (permalink)
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I can't believe anybody would allow their insurance company to place a tracking device in their car. It's not just Progressive, either, all of the major companies are are either planning or have their own programs. I was shocked when I read an article last week stating that something like 76% of people would do this to save a few bucks. Sure it might be voluntary now, but how long before the insurance industry lobbyists stuff enough money into government pockets to have this mandated? Wake up, people. This cannot end well unless people stand up and say "hell, no!"

I'll drive my car any way I damn well please, thank you very much.
if you have a car with OBD1 then they cant :P OBD1 doesnt give that information
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Old February 14th, 2013, 03:45 PM   #31 (permalink)
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I cringe whenever I hear somebody say "if you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to hide" or something similar. That's the first step to a police state.
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Old February 14th, 2013, 04:58 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Well, I can't find the story anymore, as I said, so I'm not sure how much stock to put into it now. The gist of it was that the system he had was still at least storing GPS information that could later be retreived.
Yes, there are lots of computers in cars these days, and each of them stores some amount of data. It's the same with airliners, BTW. People think of "the black box", but the fact of the matter is that there are often several places where data is stored and can be retrieved with the proper tools.

Onstar is particularly odious because its GPS receiver isn't necessarily used to give the driver information, so many people don't even know that they have GPS tracking, and the GPS hardware can be hidden anywhere in the car. If I was an intelligence operative, I'd try to avoid cars that have that stuff!

My latest car has no less than three engine and drivetrain computers, not counting the one that's inside the transmission. As well as controlling the engine (with its electronic throttle), transmission and torque vectoring transfer case, it controls the ABS, traction control, roll and yaw control! And it has GPS with a "breadcrumb" feature that shows me on the screen where I've been. It's a little creepy, because it remember places months after the last time I was there! But at least it gives me a big clue that it's storing all that data.
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Old February 15th, 2013, 09:56 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Don't forget about RF chips in tires now!

I do like on* they offer a lot (to me) I am often forgetful and who hasn't locked their keys in their car at least once? I haven't since I've had onstar but its still useful to know its just a phone call away and the doors will be unlocked, or by using my smartphone. I have used the navigation many times, when I'm in a town I'm not familiar with and I want to know whats around me to eat, i just press the button and they can tell me the restaurants in the area as wells as give me directions to them. If someone steals my car, I can call them and they will disable the vehicle and inform the authorities where my car is. And if I'm in a crash late at night on a road where no one is driving and I'm to badly injured to call for help, on* is there for me. The last one is what really gets me having lost my first girlfriend to a car accident, got the call at 4am from her mom saying she was at the hospital but there wasn't much to do at that point. That is a major life changing event for a 20y/o, or anyone for that matter. That is why I am a little more lenient with the idea of some of my data in my car being recorded and being monitored
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Old February 15th, 2013, 01:29 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Sorry for your loss, pbf98. That's tough news to get at any age.

I have never once lost my keys, or locked them in my car by accident. I'm the classical Boy Scout: always prepared. I'm the type who used to update the paper maps in my car nearly as fastidiously as pilots updated their Jeppesen charts. I still buy paper maps and print out Google Maps directions as backups. I guess that comes from back when I was the one who used to rescue people who broke down, got lost, locked out or in an accident. If I'm in a strange town and I'm hungry, I absolutely go old school and strike up a conversation with people.

I don't have anything against Onstar, or people using it. It seems like a nice service to have, even if they couldn't help Jeremy Clarkson when he was attacked by "fighter planes" in last week's "Top Gear" (UK) episode. It's just not something that I'd use enough to justify the expense. I was nonplussed by the copious gadgetry in my latest vehicle. But if you like it, that's fine by me!
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Old February 15th, 2013, 02:43 PM   #35 (permalink)
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They recently added a feature for people to use, for an additional fee you can track your own vehicle. So parents can spy on their kids haha.

I have used it enough to justify the expense, plus if any lights come on, I don't need to bring it in to get the code read out, just press the button and they can tell me what the error code is as well as what it means. I wouldn't really need that because I have a bluetooth OBDII reader which connects to my phone, but its another useful feature. My only complaint about them is the cost of their minutes for the phone calling feature, it was cheap for my first 6 months $12 for 300 minutes, but after that was up I never renewed that
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Old February 16th, 2013, 12:24 PM   #36 (permalink)
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The power tuners that I use on both of my cars also read p-codes, and one of them has an app so I can use my Android devices to monitor all sorts of parameters in real time. When I lived in Illinois, it was very handy to be able to clear any spurious codes before going into the IEPA testing station.

I've seen several "spy on your kids" products from a variety of manufacturers. The first ones were stand-alone devices that the parent could hide inside the car, then remove it and read out the data from accelerometers. Newer ones have full-time radio (usually cellular, but the high-ends one do satellite too) contact, complete with the ability to put a "nanny cam" in the car and do stuff like take over the car stereo to do everything from turn the volume down (every parent's dream) to talk over it. I can only imagine what I'd do if I was driving along and suddenly heard one of my parents' voices inside the car! I'd think that "feature" probably causes crashes!

Speaking of cameras, one night when I was getting a ride to the hospital from a pair of patrol cops, we started talking about the dash cam in their cars. It was interesting that one guy actually admitted (ruefully) that he didn't like the fact that the cameras don't discriminate in whose bad behavior they record! Then yesterday I learned that dash cams are common in Russia. They didn't say why, but I'm guessing that people use them to prove who's at fault if they get into a crash. I want that for my car! In my case, it would be a guarantee that nobody hit me ever again. LOL
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Old February 18th, 2013, 06:36 AM   #37 (permalink)
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The power tuners that I use on both of my cars also read p-codes, and one of them has an app so I can use my Android devices to monitor all sorts of parameters in real time. When I lived in Illinois, it was very handy to be able to clear any spurious codes before going into the IEPA testing station.

I've seen several "spy on your kids" products from a variety of manufacturers. The first ones were stand-alone devices that the parent could hide inside the car, then remove it and read out the data from accelerometers. Newer ones have full-time radio (usually cellular, but the high-ends one do satellite too) contact, complete with the ability to put a "nanny cam" in the car and do stuff like take over the car stereo to do everything from turn the volume down (every parent's dream) to talk over it. I can only imagine what I'd do if I was driving along and suddenly heard one of my parents' voices inside the car! I'd think that "feature" probably causes crashes!

Speaking of cameras, one night when I was getting a ride to the hospital from a pair of patrol cops, we started talking about the dash cam in their cars. It was interesting that one guy actually admitted (ruefully) that he didn't like the fact that the cameras don't discriminate in whose bad behavior they record! Then yesterday I learned that dash cams are common in Russia. They didn't say why, but I'm guessing that people use them to prove who's at fault if they get into a crash. I want that for my car! In my case, it would be a guarantee that nobody hit me ever again. LOL
Couple reasons. One, google 'driving in russia'. You'll see why. DEFINITELY to prove who caused the crash.

Two, because apparently they ahve an issue with people running into PARKED or STOPPED cars and claiming it hit them.
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Old February 19th, 2013, 01:39 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Couple reasons. One, google 'driving in russia'. You'll see why. DEFINITELY to prove who caused the crash.

Two, because apparently they ahve an issue with people running into PARKED or STOPPED cars and claiming it hit them.
Thanks! I figured it had to be something like that.

In the years that I drove professionally (road service, towing, delivery, bonded courier) I've seen lots of dirty tricks. I've lost track of how many times insurance scammers have tried the "scoop and squat" on me. Only once did they manage to make contact, which caused me to spin out on a busy 6-lane highway. They ran, and I had to replace a headlight assembly myself. Man, would I have loved to have a dash cam back then!!!
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Old February 19th, 2013, 09:39 PM   #39 (permalink)
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You could always just use your phone. Check out this thread:

Does anyone else use their phones camera to film while Driving?
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Old February 20th, 2013, 10:05 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Around where I live, there's a taxi company that I always have to avoid and dodge. They cut you off, pull out in front of you, things like that. Last night, picked up my pizza from Papa John's, and complained about their delivery man in front of him. He tailgated me, cut off someone in the next lane, tailgated someone, cut off another person, then zipped into the parking lot. In the store, he was bragging about it all. So I filed a complaint. Just because you have a Toyota Celica doesn't give you the privilege of driving like a jerk.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 03:51 PM   #41 (permalink)
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When I lived in Chicago, the taxi drivers were downright scary. Made Travis Bickle look tame and level-headed by comparison. What's worse, the Chicago Mob protects them, so woe be it to anyone who tries to get one of these thugs' license pulled! I learned this the hard way!
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Old February 23rd, 2014, 02:01 PM   #42 (permalink)
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I have that thing too. It doesn't save big money. I've had it for 6mons now and saved about 9.00 on my Insurance. I don'really drive alot and when I do its only to the store .So whats the purpose of it for $9.00 savings..fuc----.....
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