Cars Have Black Boxes Just Like Airplanes

When there’s a plane crash, you often hear about the black box—the flight-event recorder that documents key information, enabling crash investigators to piece together what happened.

Cars have black boxes similar to Airplanes

Most cars on the roadways have the same thing—without the video and audio—which are called event data recorders (EDR). Congress required, in 2014, that all new vehicles have EDRs.  It is good to know that most manufacturers had already been installing them before that.

EDRs were first used in the 1990s to follow the actions of airbags during accidents. They have advanced in technology since then. They now record over 30 different types of data, such as seatbelt usage, speed, changes in velocity, brake status, seat position, and roll angles, among others. Some EDRs even have sensors under the seats to gauge the weight of the occupants, which may come in handy when there’s a dispute over who was driving the vehicle.

There are two types of data recordings: deployment events and nondeployment events. If the airbags deploy, data is permanently saved just prior to, during, and following the accident (about 20 seconds’ worth). If the airbags do not deploy, the information is stored for only a limited amount of time before being “overwritten.”

EDRs have become extremely valuable in reconstructing auto collisions. Crash reconstruction experts no longer need to work around the recollections of a driver or passengers.  Black-box information can serve as evidence in refuting or supporting expert witnesses’ re-creation of a collision. 

You Need an Attorney

If you’ve been involved in an auto accident, consult with an experienced auto accident attorney to help you obtain and preserve black-box evidence, to prove liability, and to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. To learn more, contact the Law Office of Ben Crittenden, P.C. by using the form on this page.

Ben Crittenden
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Passionately devoted to advancing his trial techniques and communication skills on behalf of injured victims.
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