After airplane accidents, officials often evaluate the plane’s “black box” or Event Data Recorder (EDR) to determine what caused the accident.  Although many people do not realize it, modern cars have event data recorders as well.  EDRs can record information such as vehicle speed, engine speed, steering angle, throttle position, braking status, force of impact, seatbelt status, and airbag deployment.  In certain situations, EDRs have been used to determine who or what caused a car accident, as well as provide crucial information to automakers regarding the performance of the vehicle during the car accident.

Does My Car Have An Event Data Recorder?

Currently, automakers are allowed – but not required – to install EDRs in new vehicles.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), automakers installed EDRs in 96% of new vehicles in 2013.  So, even though EDRs are not required, it appears that most automakers are implementing the technology voluntarily.  In the near future, however, the installation of EDRs may become mandatory.  The NHTSA proposed that automakers be required to install EDRs in every new vehicle, beginning in September 2014.

Benefits and Concerns About Black Boxes in Cars

While there are many benefits of EDRs, privacy advocates have raised a number of concerns.  In particular, they are worried about who “owns” the EDR data.  For instance, it is unclear whether or not an individual will be able to keep or delete their data after they sell their vehicle.  Many individuals are also concerned that there is no way to “switch off” or “opt-out” from EDR data gathering.

Some people are also concerned about the possible use of EDR data for law enforcement or car insurance claim purposes.  Law enforcement may be able to use the data from EDRs to charge the driver with a crime after a car accident.  Also, insurance companies may use EDR data to set auto insurance rates for a particular driver or vehicle.

Contact Us About Your Car Accident Injury

If you have been involved in a car accident injury, please contact the personal injury attorneys at Morris Bart, LLC Attorneys at Law today.  We offer a free case evaluation with our personal injury attorneys, who will review the details of your case and advise you on the best approach to getting the compensation you deserve for your car accident injury.

May 22, 2013 | Categories: Auto Accidents |