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A black box or an event data recorder (EDR) is a computerized device that stores information on car accidents. It stores a few seconds of data from each incident. For example, the data could show that a driver accelerated suddenly to avoid a collision or reacted to an event that caused a crash. Find out how an event data recorder may help prove your case after an auto accident.

What is an Event Data Recorder in a Vehicle?

If you’ve ever driven a vehicle, you may be wondering what’s an Event Data Recorder (EDR). This small black box records vehicle technical information and occupant information after a crash. The device is located under the front seat but is often under the center console or the driver’s seat. The first generation of EDRs only recorded information about an airbag deployment. The latest generation of EDRs track 15 different variables.

An EDR is designed to record data related to car accidents. It triggers black boxes in vehicles to record information that may help police investigate. For example, if a vehicle is involved in a crash and the black box has been activated, the local police department can use the data in court against the at-fault driver. The EDR is found in all vehicles, even trucks and SUVs.

An EDR is a vital safety feature that stores data about a vehicle’s crash, such as when airbags deployed, the speed of deployment, faults, and more. The device has many other functions, such as recording the location and route of a collision and allowing authorities to reconstruct the crash scene. Fortunately, EDRs are becoming increasingly popular in cars. The data they store is invaluable for preventing crashes and other injuries.

What Types of Data Are Collected by the EDR?

Some of the information collected by an event data recorder includes:

  • Vehicle speed
  • Force of impact
  • Steering angle
  • The tilt of the vehicle
  • If you were wearing your seatbelt
  • Throttle position
  • Acceleration/ deceleration speeds
  • If brakes were applied
  • Airbag deployment times

A black box can be used as crucial evidence in an auto accident and might be the best form of proof in a lawsuit since an EDR cannot be tampered with. However, EDRs only work when a vehicle is turned on, so if you were involved in an accident in which someone rammed your vehicle while it was turned off, your EDR would not have information to support your claim.

Do All Cars Have a Black Box?

Some older cars don’t have black boxes, but newer models do. This technology was first proposed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2014. Since then, black boxes have become a common part of car safety. They’re not federally required, but car manufacturers started to include them voluntarily. But before you buy a new car, be sure to read the owner’s manual.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is mandating black boxes in all new vehicles, trucks, and SUVs. But the government has already missed the September 1 deadline. In the meantime, states pass laws that govern the disclosure automakers must make. Delaware passed legislation in May that increased the number of states with black box laws to fifteen. If you have a new car, you should consider this information carefully.

The data contained in black boxes are collected and stored in a crash. However, other people may use the data, such as police officers investigating the accident and for personal injury attorneys in lawsuits cases. Furthermore, insurers use this information to adjust insurance claims.

Who is the Legal Owner of the Information That is Being Collected? 

Depending on the state you reside in, the law regarding EDRs may be different. In 2015, the Federal Driver Privacy Act of 2015 was enacted, placing limitations on data retrieval and who that information belongs to. The data in the black box belongs to the driver of the vehicle, and the law of Texas prohibits downloading that information without the owner’s consent.

How to Use the Information of the EDR to Prove Your Case

Using the information from the EDR to prove your case is an excellent way to clarify your arguments in court. It can be challenging to access and lead to evidence destruction, but you can get it from an experienced attorney. The EDR can also help you prove fault in personal injury cases. This data can include how fast you were moving after the crash, whether the other driver was speeding, and other metrics that can help determine the accident’s mechanics.

The information contained in the EDR can help prove your case when you have suffered an injury in a car crash. Usually, an accident lawyer will hire an engineer to analyze the data. To use this data to support your claim, the attorney will need to access the other vehicle through court order or an agreement from the other driver’s insurance company. The information collected from the EDR can be beneficial in legal cases since it confirms previous findings.

The information obtained by an EDR can be used to support your case if you are seeking compensation for your accident. For example, an EDR can prove that a driver stopped short of a car ahead when the accident happened, even though the other driver allegedly hit the pedestrian. As a result, an EDR can prove that a driver was at fault in the accident.

How Can Joe I Zaid & Associates Help You?

If you or a loved one was involved in an auto accident, the first thing to do is seek legal assistance. Suppose you intend to use the data from your EDR to support the facts of your auto accident. In that case, an experienced Pasadena personal injury attorney can fight for your rights and help you obtain the compensation you deserve. This is especially important when you are fighting an insurance company and have been unable to receive fair compensation. If this is the case, Joe I. Zaid & Associates can help you.

If you are unsure how to file a lawsuit, a lawyer can represent you at every stage of the process. A lawyer can handle both the paperwork and negotiations and ensure that your best interests are represented. Our attorneys can arrange expert witness testimony to support your case and help you understand your options. We will pursue the maximum compensation you deserve.

You should seek medical care immediately after an accident. Our experienced personal injury lawyers in Pasadena can review your case and provide the necessary compensation to cover your medical bills. The goal of a personal injury lawyer is to maximize your compensation. Our injury attorneys can help you with any medical expenses that you incur due to the accident.

Don’t hesitate to contact Joe I. Zaid & Associates to discuss your legal rights today!