Know Your Rights

Car Event Data Recorders & Black Boxes

What do car event data recorders have in common with “black boxes”? We all remember hearing about airplane crashes and how important it is to investigators to recover “the black box.” The infamous “black box” really isn’t black in color, but it does record many vital pieces of information that help investigators determine what may have caused the crash. Basically, “black boxes” are event data recorders, and almost all of the new cars being manufactured today have some kind of event data recorder.

Car Event Data Recorders in Mid 1970s

General Motors introduced the first basic event data recorder in the mid 1970s when they began equipping vehicles with airbags. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association show that by 2005 more than half of all new models by various manufacturers were using basic event data recorders with airbags.

Although cars have had some form of event data recorder for many years, the way the information was collected and what was collected differed among the various manufacturers making it difficult to retrieve and study the information.

The NHTSA ruled that event data recorders (EDRs) in cars needed to be standardized by September 1, 2012. It also ruled that these recorders also be in all light passenger vehicles by September 1, 2014. Interestingly these rules were prompted after the sudden acceleration in Toyota cars was causing serious accidents and deaths, and Toyota only had one computer in all of the USA that could read its event data recorder.

Car Event Data Recorders Property of Car Owner

The data captured on EDRs is considered to be the property of the car owner. The police and accident investigators can only access the information with the owner’s consent or with a court order.

The NHTSA believes that EDRs are not only important in helping determine causes of accidents, but they also have research data indicating that the presence of EDRs in vehicles has modified driver behavior, as shown by a 30% reduction in accidents in commercial vehicles equipped with an EDR.

No matter how well a car is equipped with the latest and best safety equipment, electronics, and car event data recorders there will always be the factor of human error, human disregard for rules and regulations, and poor choices made by drivers to drink or use drugs.

If you need help recovering financially from a serious car accident injury you should always consult with a car accident attorney. Your attorney knows the ropes when it comes to accident injury claims and how best to deal with the insurance company and any other party responsible for your injuries.

Atlanta Car Accident Attorney Joel Baskin

Call Atlanta car accident attorney Joel Baskin for a free consultation about your car accident injury. Joel can help protect your rights while working to get you the best settlement.

Joel handles cases in Metro Atlanta including Cobb and Fulton counties with two convenient offices in Vinings and East Point.

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