Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What about insurance?

Please note that since you are driving your own vehicle or another vehicle with the owner’s permission, neither study personnel nor their respective organizations are responsible for the expenses that are caused by a crash you may experience. In the event of a crash, you are not responsible for any damage to the data collection system that is installed into the vehicle.

Participants in a study are considered volunteers, regardless of whether they receive payment for their participation. Under Canadian law, workers compensation does not apply to volunteers; therefore, the participants are responsible for their own medical insurance for bodily injury. Appropriate health insurance is strongly recommended to cover these types of expenses.

If you get hurt in a crash, whether in or out of an automobile, the medical treatment available to you would be that provided to any person by emergency medical services in the vicinity where the accident occurs.

Am I free to withdraw from this study at any time?

You are free to withdraw at any time without penalty. If you choose to withdraw, you will be compensated as described in the compensation section of the Consent document. If you choose to end your participation in the study earlier than originally planned, we will need to schedule a time to remove the instrumentation from your vehicle. You will not receive any final payment due until we have removed the instrumentation from the vehicle.

Has this research been approved by an Institutional Review Board?

Yes, this research has been reviewed and approved by both the University of Saskatchewan Research Ethics Board (REB) and the Virginia Tech Institutional Review Board (IRB).

How will you use the information you gather?

Information gathered during the study will be used in research (both now and in the future) aimed at investigating underlying causes of highway crashes and congestion and identifying countermeasures that will improve highway safety.

Are you going to mess up my car?

No, we use automotive grade fasteners and we use existing mounting holes to minimize any damage to your vehicle. So it should be returned to you in the same condition that you brought it to us in today. A possible exception could occur if you do not currently have a front licence plate holder on your vehicle. A suitable manufacturer-specific front licence plate holder will be provided.

Isn’t radar illegal in some provinces or territories?

We install radars, not radar detectors, so it’s perfectly legal. This radar is simply a sensor used to determine the distance between your car and vehicles or other objects in front of your car during later data analysis.

What if I accidentally drive into a facility where cameras are restricted?

Because the DAS includes cameras, you should avoid driving your vehicle into any areas where cameras are restricted including international border crossings, certain military installations, or other restricted areas. There is the potential that you could be detained or arrested if you inadvertently drive into a secure facility. To help minimize this risk, you can show authorities a letter we will provide you that you should always keep in the glove compartment. It will explain the vehicle’s role in the study while still maintaining your privacy and confidentiality.

Can my data be used against me?

Apart from driving, one of the risks of participation is that the camera system may capture the events leading up to a crash. If law enforcement or other officials question you about the equipment, you can show them a letter we will give you that you should always keep in your glove compartment. It will explain your vehicle’s role in the study while still maintaining your privacy and confidentiality.

Throughout the study, we will take all possible steps to protect your privacy and keep confidential your role in the study and the confidentiality of your personally identifying information. However, this privacy protection does not prevent the researchers from disclosing voluntarily matters such as child abuse, or a participant’s threatened or actual harm to self or others. In terms of a vehicle, this could also include items such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, allowing an unlicenced minor to drive the vehicle, or habitually running red lights at high speed. Such behaviours may result in your removal from the study and reporting of the behaviour to the appropriate authorities. If you are removed from the study, your compensation will be prorated based on the time you have already spent as a participant in the study.

In the event of a crash, it may not be possible to prevent the equipment and the data from falling into the hands of the police or an insurance company; if this happens, however, the data are still encrypted (that is, stored in an unreadable format) and will be inaccessible and unreadable to these individuals.

However, you too, are responsible for taking steps to protect your privacy. Do not post or disclose your participation on any public forum including websites, Facebook, newspapers, radio and television. Protect your role in the study the same way that you protect other personal and private information. If you do not keep confidential your role in the study, there is a risk that some of the data collected during the study, including your personally identifying information, may be used against you in a court case or other legal proceeding.