INDIANAPOLIS - Federal mandates for vehicle data recorders are spreading this year to most American cars and trucks.
The technology was initially used by the auto industry for safety and maintenance purposes, but it's now proving to be very successful in prosecuting crime.
A mechanic at Indy's Busted Knuckle Garage said the devices are officially called Event Data Recorders or EDR.
Russ Dillard with Beck Service Center said EDRs are used to track vehicle operations like throttle and
"It's going to record vehicle speed, engine temperatures, how long the car has been driven," Dillard said.
The information can also be used against you in a court of law, RTV6's Chance Walser reported.
Marion County Deputy Prosecutor Tom Hirschauer said EDR information has been used to prosecute intoxicated drivers since the mid 2000s.
"A lot of times high speed impacts this can become very powerful in helping us reconstruct the accident," Hirschauer said. "It will allow us to make a determination on whether or not we're pursuing the appropriate charges."
The devices can be found in most new vehicles and some older vehicles going back to the late 90s.
"Is this a valuable tool or is this a big reach by Big Brother? I do understand it and as a person who believes that the constitution is one of the greatest documents ever written it's why I always pursue search warrants when I'm reaching out for this documentation," Hirschauer said.
EDR use varies between vehicle makes and models.
Prosecutors said they are very difficult, if not impossible to disable.
To see if your car has an EDR, click here for a list.