There is a new device called “Ajusto” that can be installed in your car and allows insurers to monitor your driving behaviour, time spent on the road, times of day that you drive etc. This is now actually in existence and being used by Desjardins/The Personal car insurance company.
Depending on your point of view, it might seem like an excellent way to check the bad driving of some motorists or it can feel somewhat creepy that the insurer is monitoring what you do in your car.
The link to the description of the Ajusto program can be found here: http://www.desjardinsassurancesgenerales.com/d-on/en/insurance-products/auto-insurance/pages/auto-insurance-program.aspx?icampaign=BF700001&campagne=SF510000
As a father with two children who works as a car accident and injury lawyer in Ontario, I am naturally very cautious on the road and very nervous about the driving habits that I sometimes see on the road. I drive a lot since I do work in Whitby, Oshawa, Toronto, Courtice, Mississauga, Vaughan, Toronto and the GTA. The wide-spread usage of the Ajusto program might well result in people slowing down and driving more cautiously. It’s the old story of the kids being better behaved when the teacher is in the class-room and can see them. We are all well aware that the driving habits of motorists change dramatically when we see a police car on the road nearby.
The Ajusto program may well have an important public safety component since you cannot think that you will “get away with” poor driving – the computer will register it and report it and there will be consequences that hit your wallet (your car insurance rates).
I will admit that I flashed back to some old George Orwell and Utopia/Dystopia novels when I first read about the Ajusto program, but the more that I think about it the less frightening it is.
As a personal injury lawyer, I also often have to deal with people who lie about how a car accident happened during an injury lawsuit. I think that I have probably heard every lie in the book (including, “I didn’t rear-end him, he reversed into me”). Sometimes, the black box technology is unavailable, or the car itself has been demolished or disposed of. Ajusto technology could well provide us with some assistance in identifying what was happening in the defendant driver’s car before and during the accident. As Ajusto becomes more sophisticated, the quality and quantity of the data will no doubt improve.
Personal injury lawyers in Ontario should be asking for Ajusto data when asking questions of defendants in car accident injury lawsuits and requesting all available data from insurers in these cases.
Steven Polak is a personal injury lawyer, whose practice focusses on personal injury, car accident injury and long-term disability denial lawsuits. Steven Polak practices in Toronto and Whitby/Oshawa Ontario.