What many Pittsburgh residents may not know about their vehicles is that they may have an on-board recording device. Not every vehicle is equipped with these devices, akin to a airplane's "black box"; but this is important because these devices can be absolutely vital in the wake of a car accident.
After a car accident, these black boxes yield critical information -- such as how fast the car was going prior to the wreck. The boxes can also tell investigators if the driver tried to slow down; if people in the car were wearing their seat belt; and what other systems were being used at the time of the crash. All of these factors can point, positively or negatively, to who is at fault in the wreck. The evidence can also be used in any civil litigation that the accident's victims pursue against the at-fault driver.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is taking steps to make black boxes a requirement on all new vehicles. The boxes would be utilized for the aforementioned reasons, as well as to help researchers analyze crash data and possibly make safety improvements to motor vehicles.
Congress did not approve of the NHTSA's plan in 2010; but now the agency appears headed towards making it their policy.
There are some privacy concerns being brought up, and for good reason. Who sees the black box information? Could insurance providers use the black box as a basis to increase your rate? Would a big brother effect take place, where the government could monitor motorists?
However, simply on the basis of safety, requiring black boxes on new vehicles is a tremendous idea that could save lives and help accident victims prove their case in civil court.
Source: AOL, "Black Boxes Could Soon Help Solve Car Accidents," Dec. 10, 2012
- Car accidents can happen for a variety of reasons, but the result is usually the same -- people are unfairly hurt. To learn what you can do in the wake of such an event, please visit our Pittsburgh auto accident page.