What are Black Boxes and How are They Used in Auto Accident Cases

If you happen to be involved in a Auto accident in Tennessee or any where in the U.S., what you do, or fail to do in the seconds before a crash is probably being recorded. By who, you ask? Your own car. Over ninety five percent of new cars are manufactured with a “black box” or event data recorder. In fact, there have been proposals to make these devices mandatory in all cars. Regulations require that your owner’s manual disclose whether or not a black box is present, but a large number of drivers do not realize that their vehicle can track their speed, brake position, seat belt use, and other data.

Black boxes in cars differ from those used in airplanes in that they do not continually record data, but merely capture the seconds before a crash or air bag deployment.

Car manufacturers and government agencies have used black boxes for years, but the devices are becoming increasingly useful in car accident litigation. The data stored in a black box can be used to show a jury what was going on inside of a car just seconds before a terrible collision. Many collisions are caused by speedy drivers who claim they were traveling under the speed limit to avoid liability. The black box can be used to show the jury the truth.

That is not to say that black boxes are fool proof. In fact their results can be subject to scrutiny, and may be inadmissible at court if not handled properly. That is largely because the data must be extracted and interpreted by a second machine, and in some cases it is necessary to have the automaker’s proprietary reader. If all sides of a disputed claim are not included in this process, it may be impossible to determine whether the data was extracted correctly.

At the attorneys at our personal injury law firm are skilled Tennessee car accident lawyers who work with engineers who are experienced in extracting and interpreting black box data. If you have a case where you think your black box has a story to tell, contact a skilled auto accident attorney to set up a free consultation.

Posted in Auto Accident, Injury Law, Legal Advice, Legal Issues.

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