The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants car makers to start including "black box" data recorders in all new cars. Black boxes have long played a role in commercial airplane crash investigations - the boxes can record various types of data, allowing investigators to look back and determine what went wrong.
With more black boxes in more consumer autos, car accident victims will have access to stronger evidence to support claims for compensation. Black box data will help determine who is at fault.
Some important examples of recordable information include vehicle speed, whether anybody tried to brake, steering patterns, acceleration, and any malfunctions. When an injury results from a crash, it will be easier to turn back the clock and review a wealth of different factors. Investigators can also combine the data to draw out patterns like erratic or reckless driving that can also point to fault on the part of one of the drivers.
Since the question of fault often occupies an important spot in car accident cases, more black boxes in more cars would make it much easier and more efficient for plaintiffs to receive the financial awards they deserve. Instead of pitting two incompatible stories against one another, both sides can clearly see what happened and move on to other big issues.
Source: AOL Autos, "Black Boxes Could Soon Help Solve Car Accidents," Dec. 10, 2012