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Black boxes could save vital information in car crashes


People in San Diego may have heard a lot of news about privacy concerns and government data collection in the media over the last few months. But one important piece of news may have slipped past many people, even though they may be affected by it every day. It turns out that hundreds of thousands of people unknowingly have a mysterious data collection unit in their cars, which can provide data about the car and the driver.

These boxes may have been silently in our midst for many years, but recent evidence of their mass production has some privacy watchers spooked about their capacity to glean private information. An estimated 96% of all cars produced in 2013 contain these boxes, so naturally people want to know more about their function.

Much like the “black box” that is so vital to finding out what went wrong when a plane crashes, these devices are generally used in the event of a car accident. They can record things such as the vehicle speed, whether the wheel was suddenly jerked, if the brakes were pressed and even if the driver was wearing a seatbelt. This kind of data could be extremely important in determining exactly what happened in a vehicle accident. Not only could this help improve driver and vehicle safety, it could help explain why an accident occurred and who was at fault.

This black box could be instrumental in holding negligent drivers accountable for accidents when they harm other people. For example, in the case of a head-on collision, knowing whether or not the driver jerked the wheel before impact could help determine whether the person was asleep at the wheel or trying to dodge an oncoming vehicle. The information from these boxes isn’t always readily accessible though, so people injured in a car accident should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney about the use of black boxes in California.

Source: “Police start using ‘black boxes’ in car crash investigations,” July 23, 2013
Anchor Text: car accident