Most people are aware that black boxes in airplanes are important tools in investigation when airplane accidents happen. The black box is also termed as event data recorder (EDR). In the car accident investigation, black boxes are gaining slowly a key role. Some people have doubts the black boxes about their privacy issues, black boxes are only helpful to the insurance companies but not for the accident investigators. In fact, black box records the actions of the driver and the events from a few seconds before the collision. Those are including turning, braking, speed etc. With these events recording by the black box, undoubtedly help both insurance companies and the police. It also brings a few benefits to the car owners. Imagine that if you met an accident in an isolated road without any evidence and the mistake is not from your side.
- Place and functionality: An EDR or black box uses a variety of sensors to records collect and record the data. It is typically attached to the car’s steering column, firewall, or Vehicle’s floor or out of the way location. When a crash or an incident occurs, the black box capture and store the data or information about it. The information is regarding to, time and date of the crash, air bag deployment, and seat belt status, force of impact, braking status, throttle position, steering angle, engine speed, and vehicle speed. It cannot record about mobile phone usage, driver intoxication, driver information, and the location.
- Why have we black box?: The auto manufacturers are started out black boxes as to refine and measure safety equipment. General Motors was a pioneer in using the black boxes. By early 1990s, it included them nearly all of its vehicles. These were helped the automakers to understand better about the airbags response in the crashes. The dual stage airbags, which deploys on the basis of speed are came into existence because of EDRs results. The better data about the crashes and near crashes have the manufacturer, the more they know about risks and improve the safety. Carmakers also use the EDRs information to track or to find the manufacturing defects.
- Benefits: The car EDRs are help to determine the events that led to collision and the causes for a car accident. The information recorded in the black box useful to reconstruction of events happen before accident. Through that data, accident investigators, police and the insurance companies can emphasize. Some insurance companies are also offering discounts to the drivers for those who installed black box in their vehicle.
The information recorded on a black box EDR is generally considered as car owner’s personal property. To use the data in the black box the insurance company and the attorney needs a warrant and the car owner’s consent. Therefore, the personal privacy might not impact.