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The role of black boxes in car crash litigation

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

In the wake of a car accident, determining the moments leading up to the crash is imperative. Given everyone’s emotions and shock, this can be especially difficult.

This is where a black box or event data recorder comes to the rescue. These devices record various data points that provide invaluable insights as to the cause of a wreck.

What black boxes record

Black boxes record all sorts of data, including speed, throttle position, brake application, seat belt status and airbag deployment times. This information provides a detailed account of the vehicle’s movements and conditions before, during and after a crash.

Establishing the cause of the accident

Black box data can help establish responsibility for an accident. A detailed review should reveal the driver’s actions, including brake time, speed and evasive maneuvers. It may also provide insight into the deployment of airbags and the force of impact. This objective evidence can be pivotal in cases where the events leading to the crash are otherwise up for debate or unclear.

Difficulties in acquiring black boxes

Accessing black box data can be challenging. Often, it requires consent from the vehicle owner or a court order. Moreover, interpreting the information accurately requires technical experience. Specialists in accident reconstruction are mandatory for proper analysis. They can also explain the final report so it is understandable to the average layperson.

The future of black boxes in litigation

As vehicles improve in technological sophistication, the data from black boxes is bound to increase in quality. As a result, these devices will continue to grow in importance, providing better and more usable insights into the events leading up to accidents.

Black boxes are an invaluable tool in car crash litigation. With one in hand, prosecutors have a golden opportunity to make an unimpeachable case.

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