A black box, also known as an Event Data Recorder (EDR) is a small device in a car that records driving data. Black boxes were originally invented for use in airplanes and have been used in cars since the early 2000s. The data recorded in black boxes often includes braking, acceleration, airbag deployment, seat belt usage, speed of a vehicle at the time of impact, etc. When this information is collected from all cars in an accident, it can help to determine who is at fault for a crash.
How do black boxes work?
When you’re driving, your black box or EDR, is constantly recording data and storing it in a continuous loop. After a collision occurs, the 5 seconds before and after the impact are recorded as well as the crash itself. If the data is collected from all the vehicles in an accident, a trained professional can use it to map out how the crash occurred and demonstrate who was at fault. These trained individuals can often testify as experts in your case.
Who can access black box data?
The information in a black box cannot be retrieved by just anyone. Being able to gather and read EDR data takes a trained expert who knows how to work with device software, the vehicle’s hardware and be able to decode the information and put it into digestible data for the average person.
These trained experts could be professionals in the auto industry (they can retrieve the data), insurance companies, police officers, and lawyers (who can help translate the data). It is also expensive to buy the equipment for decoding black boxes, with some of the devices costing up to $10,000.
How do black boxes impact my case?
If you have been in a car accident and a lawyer or insurance company is trying to determine who is at fault, make sure all parties’ black box data is collected, it could help prove your case. Contact Larson and Gallivan Law PLC for assistance in acquiring your black box information.