New Federal Black Box Regulations For Motor Vehicles

On behalf of Pat Crispi at Keogh Crispi PC

Black boxes are types of event data recorders that automotive companies install in vehicles in order to gather crash data. About 91.6 percent of automakers have included black boxes on the vehicles they manufacture without any laws mandating they do so. On September1, 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will start enforcing new requirements for those black boxes already in place by manufactures. This type of equipment holds promise of many benefits for automotive industries as well as car owners.

The Requirement

The new requirement has both positive and negative implications. The requirement will be beneficial in terms of safety because it will make a standardized system. The data from car accidents will be collected in the same way and guidelines will be set into place across all manufacturers' devices. Comparing data will be an easy task.

The new requirement, however, is a slight negative for manufactures and drivers. Manufacturers will have to upgrade their black boxes and spend money in doing so. For drivers that already have a black box in their car, the new requirement may sway manufacturers into turning the devices off because the previous models do not comply with the new requirement.

How a Black Box Works and What it Can Do

A black box records several seconds of time leading up to a collision. The box itself is very difficult to destroy, built to withstand auto accidents. Authorities take the box out of the car after an accident and use the data in it to determine the cause of the accident

The NHTSA believes that this evidence will be extremely important when determining how to design a vehicle. The information may lead to discoveries on what safety measures work best and how to better reduce the impact of a solid object. Comparing different models will uncover a wealth of knowledge.

Accident Investigation and Holding Negligent Parties Responsible

Although the black boxes will have a huge impact on the automotive industry, it will also have an impact on legal suits that are the result of a collision. The black boxes may give insight as to who is at fault for an accident and why an accident occurred in the first place.

When a negligent party is at fault in a collision, the black box information can be an asset to the innocent party and help in determining liability. After a collision occurs, talking to an experienced personal injury lawyer is a step in the right direction. Such an attorney will pull together all possible evidence and information in order to guarantee that an injured party receives all of the compensation that needs to be made whole after his or her injuries.