DAYTON, OH, February 25, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- The large number of dangerous automobile crashes
on roads throughout Ohio and the rest of the nation are a major ongoing concern for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A component of the NHTSA's push for safer roads and highways is finding smarter ways to determine what caused a motor vehicle accident with the goal of preventing similar crashes. The agency has proposed that all car makers include "black box" event data recorders ("EDRs") in all new car models to better understand what goes wrong when cars crash
In addition to helping policymakers spot dangerous car accident trends, black boxes could serve a more practical purpose for Ohio motorists. They could provide an objective and clear source of information, showing exactly what happened after a car crash. When car accidents do occur
, courts sometimes struggle to determine what happened and who is responsible - "black box" data recorders could provide a better picture when dealing with an at-fault driver, an auto insurance company or in taking these cases before a judge.
Many car manufacturers have already placed black boxes in vehicles; some companies started including these devices in their cars as early as 1999. The NHTSA's proposal would make black boxes mandatory in all vehicles released as part of the 2014 model line. As many as 96 percent of cars and light-duty trucks produced in the 2013 model series have the ability to house EDRs and at least 91 percent of vehicles for that year already have the devices, according to the NHTSA.
What This Means For Drivers
Much like black box flight recorders, the devices activate in a collision and capture data related to the vehicle's status throughout the accident. The devices record vehicle speed, any use of the accelerator or brakes, airbag deployment, seatbelt use and the forces at the moment of impact.
One big concern for many motorists is how the collected data will be used and the possibility that insurance rates could increase if companies can access driving data from black boxes. The American Civil Liberties Union recommends that access to the data should be carefully controlled and available only with the vehicle owner's informed consent. At this point, it seems unlikely that insurance companies would receive information for any purpose other than resolving a lawsuit.
On the plus side, the boxes would likely serve as invaluable evidence in car accidents and other legal situations involving motorists. The information recorded on a motor vehicle's black box could make it easier to reconstruct what happened before, during and after a collision. At-fault drivers and their auto insurance companies would have a harder time avoiding responsibility for a wreck if a clear, objective picture of the crash existed to show what happened.
Congress did not approve legislation aimed at requiring the black boxes by 2010, but the NHTSA may be able to require the use of EDRs through its own rules with support from the executive branch. The White House has reacted favorably towards the proposal.
Personal Injury Lawyers Can Use EDRs to Help in Court
Car accidents can be a very scary situation for many drivers. The confusion arising after an accident may lead to a misunderstanding of the events that led to the crash, and data recorders can help unravel the many different factors that contribute to an automobile collision. Black box data can also help hold the appropriate driver responsible for any serious injuries or property damage that resulted from a crash.
Those involved in an accident should seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney.
An attorney can assist with reconstructing the crash scene, determining who is at fault and who is responsible for any serious injuries that may have resulted from a collision.
Dyer, Garofalo, Mann & Schultz L.P.A. is a full-service serious injury
, complex medical malpractice
, workers' compensation
and Social Security Disability
law firm that undertakes complex injury cases throughout the tri-state area including Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky.
DYER, GAROFALO, MANN & SCHULTZ L.P.A.
131 North Ludlow St., Suite 1400
Dayton, OH 45402
Toll Free: 1-800-223-8897
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