Brad Pistotnik Law
Abogado El Toro

Black box unlocks car crash mysteries

Large Truck Accidents | Featured Articles

February 01 2004 - Black box unlocks car crash mysteries

When a plane crashes, one of the first things investigators look for is the “black box.” These recorders store information that can solve the mysteries of a crash. Today, there is similar technology in about 25 million vehicles. And chances are, if you drive a new car, you’ve got one hidden under your seat.

Data recorders in newer vehicles note the use of brakes, seat belts and air bags, as well as the speed. The National Transportation Safety Board urged manufacturers to install this technology in new cars to make crash investigation and reconstruction easier. The devices start recording once air bags have been deployed—about five seconds before a crash—when most witnesses are not able to remember what happened. Did they hit the brakes? Were they speeding? These questions will be answered more easily through the use of the black boxes. Most, if not all, of the data from the box can be downloaded onto a computer.

To protect the privacy of the car owner, the California Legislature recently passed the first law regulating the use of these black boxes. Unlike those used on airplanes, the boxes installed in vehicles do not record sound or conversations. Still, Senator Tim Leslie, sponsor of the California bill, believes the information in these data recorders should be protected by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Under the new law, motor vehicle owners must be informed that their car has a recorder, and that the data can’t be downloaded unless the owner gives consent. The only way around that stipulation is through a court order or if the information will be used for medical or safety research and can’t be traced back to the individual car and owner.

In all large truck cases it is essential that measures be taken promptly to preserve evidence, investigate the accident in question, and to enable physicians or other expert witnesses to thoroughly evaluate any injuries. If you or a loved one is a victim of a large truck accident, call the Truck Accident Lawyers Group, Inc. now at (877) 736-4222 or CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT A SIMPLE CASE FORM. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to accept your case, we will work on a contingent fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary award or recovery of funds. Don't delay! You may have a valid claim and be entitled to compensation for your injuries, but a lawsuit must be filed before the statute of limitations expires.