New Orleans motor vehicle injury accidents involving newer model cars and other passenger vehicles may have valuable information stored on a data recorder – often referred to as a “black box” – installed by the manufacturer.
These recorders have been in use on some vehicles since the 1990s and were in place on approximately 92% of 2010 passenger size vehicles. They typically only hold a few seconds of data at a time and may contain information regarding issues such as vehicle speed, braking and the use of seatbelts in the seconds before a crash.
The federal government has never mandated that this technology be included in all vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), however, has decided to enact rules to standardize the type and quality of data recorded when a black box is installed. These new regulations took effect on September 1, 2012.
Previously, there was no federal regulation governing the degree of accuracy required of the data, what type of data would be recorded, or the ability of the black box itself to withstand a crash. In vehicles manufactured from September of 2012 onward, researchers and other users of the black box information will now know what data they can expect to find and have some assurance of its accuracy.
While this data is primarily recorded for use by the auto industry in determining whether installed safety features are properly functioning and in setting parameters for safety features in future vehicles, this data may also prove helpful in personal injury lawsuits. Objective information regarding the speed of the vehicles and whether a driver braked before the collision can help determine who caused the collision.
If you have been injured a motor vehicle accident, we can be reached at 504-581-6411 or 855-GERTLER and would be happy to answer your questions.