Did you know that your vehicle might be equipped with a "black box," otherwise known as an event data recorder (EDR)? These boxes are well known for their role in discovering the cause of an airplane crash, and are also instrumental in finding out important information in a Missouri semi truck crash, but most people don't realize that their car might have one as well. Missouri personal injury lawyers were surprised to hear what a large percentage of "regular" cars and trucks now come equipped with a black box.
EDR technology has been around since the '70s, but the number of vehicles equipped with them has dramatically increased over the last decade. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), as of 2008, 65-90 percent of the vehicles manufactured today have EDRs.
In most cars, (but not all) the EDR is under the driver's seat. It's connected to different parts of the vehicle, such as the airbag. In fact, the primary purpose of an EDR in a car is to trigger airbag inflation in case of an auto accident.
The data recorded on a vehicle's EDR can be a huge assist in fact finding for an auto accident investigation, helping to prove liability. Event data recorders do not track driving behaviors or patterns--rather; they capture specific accident related information. However, data retrieval is an issue. It is not always available to third parties, such as investigators in auto accidents.