Applying Automotive EDR Data to Traffic Crash Reconstruction
I.D. # C1210 Duration 3 Days

EDR's were first installed in 1994 and are now installed in 99% of new light vehicles sold in the US. In the US EDR¿s are not required, but vehicles with EDR¿s made after 9/1/2012 must meet minimum standardized content requirements of 49 CFR, Part 563 including speed, throttle, brake on/off and Delta V.  Data must be retrievable with a publicly available tool.  Only a few manufacturers install EDR¿s worldwide currently, but the EU and China are adopting regulations to require them in the next few years.  Some manufacturers provide stability control system data far beyond the US regulation that aid in understanding vehicle movement in the 5 seconds prior to the crash. 

This course provides participants with the skills necessary to analyze event data recorder (EDR) data that has already been imaged, apply it to crash reconstruction, and reconcile it with calculations using other data sources. The course will enable participants to analyze current and potential future EDR data set without regard to the manufacturer. The class presents the generic analysis step by step, then groups EDRs into manufacturer-specific families and their data limitations, and works case studies that highlight targeted key learning objectives. The student will also learn key points to satisfy court Frye and Daubert requirements for EDR data to be admissible, and suggest methods to present EDR data that will communicate the data understandably to attorneys and lay juries. 

This course has been approved by the Accreditation Commission for Traffic Accident Reconstruction (ACTAR) for 20 continuing education units (CEUs). Upon completion of this course, accredited reconstructionists should mail a copy of their course certificate of achievement and the $5 participant CEU fee to ACTAR, PO Box 1493, North Platte, NE 69103.

Learning Objectives
By attending this course, you will be able to:
  • Describe EDR sensor operation, recording interval and duration, resolution, accuracy, and time latency and articulate the limitations of applying the data to crash analysis
  • Calculate min and max speeds prior to loss of control or braking, and at impact based on the last accurate EDR pre-crash speed data point
  • Evaluate EDR vs. actual ground speed for specific vehicle operational conditions and vehicle equipment modifications
  • Calculate speed at impact and closing speeds by combining EDR delta V data with normally collected scene and vehicle data such as post crash travel distance, departure angle, drag factor, and vehicle weights
  • Apply data to inline rear end, head on, and angular collisions
  • Reconcile EDR data with other physical evidence and combine to narrow speed ranges
  • Use time-distance and overlay EDR data on scene maps/diagrams to show where critical driving inputs were made vs. inputs required to avoid collisions

Who Should Attend

This course is a must for anyone involved in the investigation and analysis of passenger car and light truck crashes who needs to understand the types of event data that are available, the limitations of that data, and how to apply it to a collision reconstruction and reconcile it with data from other sources. In addition, this course can be valuable to insurance adjusters and claims managers, and attorneys handling automotive collisions. Engineers designing EDR's to meet part 563 regulations may also benefit from understanding how the data they store will be used. New analysts requiring training, as well as experienced analysts who require information on changing technology and federal regulations will find this course relevant and timely.   


An undergraduate degree in mechanical or electrical engineering or a strong technical background is highly recommended. A basic knowledge of college physics (Newton's laws of motion) and calculus (integrals of acceleration into velocity), and a familiarity with passenger cars and light trucks is expected. Experience or training in crash reconstruction, including acceleration and drag factors, slide-to-stop calculations, and momentum analysis are very helpful, and awareness of critical speed yaw and crush energy calculations will help increase your level of understanding of this material. 

Instructor(s): Richard Ruth

Richard Ruth
Mr. Ruth is currently president of Ruth Consulting LLC which specializes in passenger car and light truck Event Data Recorders and restraint systems performance in crashes. He has 10 published papers on EDR accuracy and assists civil attorneys and prosecutors in Frye and Daubert hearings to get EDR data admitted in court. He has taught over 30 classes in EDR imaging and data analysis to law enforcement and private reconstructionists, and is a regular speaker at national and regional crash reconstruction conferences. He is a beta tester for new releases of the Bosch Crash Data Retrieval system. Mr. Ruth is a member of the SAE J1698 Event Data Recorder Committee, and a member of ISO's EDR related TC22/SC12/WG7, and a former member of the ASTM 4150 group that developed an EDR procedure.

Prior to consulting, Mr. Ruth worked 33 years for Ford Motor Company, and since 2008 managed the engineers who did field investigations of safety system performance in real world crashes including EDR imaging and analysis, and championed the release of Ford EDR data to the Bosch Crash Data Retrieval system, personally writing some of the data limitations. He handled law enforcement requests for EDR readout assistance, was a member of Ford's EDR policy committee, was Ford's representative to the SAE EDR standards committee, and helped shape Ford and Auto Alliance responses to NHTSA on Part 563 EDR legislation. Mr. Ruth has a Electrical Engineering from Michigan Technological University and an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan Ross Business School, and is a registered professional engineer.

"One of the best seminars ever attended. Excellent presentation; well worth cost; will assist me in future work.."
David Sherpardson
D.J. Shepardson & Assoc. LLC


"Mr. Ruth's knowledge of the subject matter is both broad and deep. His commitment to the subject matter and his students is remarkable and commendable."
Joseph Neal
Senior Engineer
Explico Engineering



Fees: $1799 SAE Members: $1619