Event Data Recorders
Most people are unaware that the vehicle they are driving actually contains an onboard data system. The same system that provides some of the nuisance warnings such as change oil or check this or that also can collect very important data relevant to a car accident lawsuit.
This is called event data recorders or crash data recorders. These recorders or onboard computers are on almost all recent vehicles sold in the US. Typically it is a small 3-inch box installed in the motor compartment of the vehicle. These devices were originally made to improve the performance of airbags and have become increasingly important in personal injury lawsuits relating to car and truck accidents.
The information available can range from the speed of the vehicle, revolutions per minute for the engine, if and when the brakes were applied, and even whether or not the seatbelt was fastened at the time of the crash. It is very scary how accurate this information can really be. Obviously, in a personal injury lawsuit the data can make or break a case.
Some of the vehicles that contain event data recorders are:
While it may take a trained technician to access the computer data, in an appropriate case the ability to accurately determine the speed of the vehicle as well as breaking activity can be critically important evidence in the case. Prior to event data recorders, personal injury attorneys relied upon accident reconstruction experts and other ways of proving the actions of another driver. The event data recorders tend to reduce the ability of a negligent driver to incorrectly remember the accident scenario.