Vehicle technology is advancing at a mile a minute and this gives motorists considerable evidence that can be used to establish the facts of an accident. Dash cameras, impact sensors, onboard computers, and other technological advancements record everything from the speed of the impact to the movement of the energy through the vehicle compartment. This information can help clients obtain compensation for their medical treatment, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of earning capacity, etc.
Modern Automobile Technology
Practically every new automobile is now equipped with a “black box” that is similar to those found on airplanes and ships. It is estimated by the National Highway Transportation Administration (NHTSA) that upwards of 85% of automobiles produced in the past 20 years have some form of EDR onboard the vehicle. Known as Event Data Recorders (EDR), these devices record vehicle speed, direction, braking patterns, and changes in the velocity of the vehicle. In some cases, they can also record video and audio footage, as well as the force of impact, the point of impact, etc. There are over 30 types of data recorded by EDR’s that the NHTSA regulates. This data essentially creates a thorough recording of the accident that an auto accident lawyer can use to establish liability and the impact the accident had on the driver and any occupants of the vehicle.
In an accident where the airbags are deployed, this information is stored in a permanent manner on the hard drive within the EDR. However, if the accident did not result in airbag deployment, the data is only stored for a short period of time which means that it must be retrieved quickly before the device erases it from its memory.
EDR’s provide valuable information that when coupled with video and photographic evidence, eyewitness statements, and police reports, establishes fault for the accident. When an individual brings a personal injury lawsuit following an accident, the information gathered by the EDR can be matched with medical records to clearly establish the cause of the injuries and the effect the injury has had.
For example, rear-end impacts often cause drivers to hit their heads on steering wheels. This can lead to whiplash that an automobile accident lawyer can prove via evidence recorded by a rear-mounted camera and supported by data showing the force of the impact and the rapid forward motion of the vehicle.