If you bought or leased a new car within the last 8 years, you may be surprised to hear that you have a "black box" or "Event Data Recorder" in your car which records certain information immediately before and/or during a car accident. The information recorded can be downloaded by your dealership or anyone using the Bosch Crash Data Retrieval kit.
The data recorded from an Event Data Recorder can help figure out who was at fault for causing an accident. The information recorded at the time of the accident, includes: the speed your car was traveling; how fast your car slowed down; how far the accelerator pedal was pressed; whether the brake was applied; the number of crash events; and, whether you were wearing your seat belt. The black box automatically saves up to 5 seconds of data immediately before, during and after an accident.
Today the vast majority of cars sold in the United States have black boxes. As of 2013 the National Highway Safety Administration established a rule requiring car manufacturers who make the black boxes to record 15 data elements in specific formats. Just remember that these black boxes and the information recorded on them belongs to the owner of the vehicle, based on a federal law enacted in 2015. If you are ever in a serious accident in which someone was injured, you should consult with your attorney the cost and benefit of downloading the data from your car's black box. It is expensive and may cost as much as $2000.00 or more. The benefit could be to prove you were driving within the speed limit and did indeed apply your brakes at the correct moment.