Feds Define Standards for Black Box Data Collection after Accident

by Jose G. “Joey” Gonzalez, Jr. on 09/13/2012

Soon, event data recorders that are currently available in many models will be required to meet certain standards for the collection of data after an auto accident.  In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is working on a rule that will ultimately mandate the installation of event data recorders, or black box recorders in every vehicle on the road.

Black box recorders in automobiles just like those that exist in planes, are used after a crash or an accident to understand the cause of the accident.  In an automobile crash, the black box recorder also provides important information about the severity of injuries.  This data can be used by an accident victim to claim compensation for his injuries.

These data recorders must be opened only by a qualified mechanic, and the data can be interpreted only by special computers.  Some of the first black box data recorders began appearing in vehicles in the early 90s, and according to the federal administration, as many as 92% of vehicles from the 2010 model year weighing 8481 pounds, came with event data recorders.

The new requirements that are set to kick off next month, will make it easier for manufacturers as well as interested parties to access data in the blackbox recorder after an accident.  The rule defines the data that must be recorded, including the speed at the time of the accident, airbag deployment, occupant size, number of impacts, force of impact and other important factors that can affect the validity of an accident victim’s claim.

Earlier this year, a provision that would have mandated the installation of black box recorders in all new cars, was defeated in the House Of Representatives.  There were several concerns that the installation of such black box recorders constituted a violation of privacy.  However, San Antonio car accident attorneys are hopeful that over a period of time, there will be a mandate for these recorders in all automobiles.

Tags: Automobile Accidents, NHTSA

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