What if cars had “black boxes” just like an airplane?

If you are ever involved in a car accident, you may be able to retrieve accurate information about your car before, during, and after.  For example, you can find out if an auto driver speeding, when — if ever — the automobile driver braked and if anyone was not wearing their seatbelt.

That technology comes in the form auto accident Event Data Recorders (EDRs), and the NHTSA estimates that 85% of new cars manufactured will have an EDR installed by 2010.

Not all EDRs work the same, however.  Some only record when it detects a car crash is actually occurring.  Others record continuously, but also deleting data continuously, until an automobile crash is detected.  Then they save the few seconds before and after the auto accident.  This data can greatly help officers and other traffic accident reconstruction experts who can use this important information to determine what went wrong before the car accident, and can help determine who was at fault.

Fortunately, the government has acted to secure a person’s auto driving privacy rights.  For example, the federal government has ruled that the information contained in an EDR is the property of the car owner.  The information can only be obtained by the owner’s permission or by a court order.  California Automobile Code 9951 specifically states the same, and also continues to say that any information gathered can only be given away if it is for auto accident research purposes only, and without the disclosure of the car owner’s identity.

As car accident lawyers, we respect individuals’ rights for privacy.  However, we are intrigued by the possibilities of EDR for parents.  What if there was a way to keep track of your teenager’s driving habits?  Just because you are not in the car with them does not mean you cannot watch over them.

Our car accident attorneys do not like to discriminate, but teenage drivers have less than favorable car accident statistics.  They often drive recklessly, and teen drivers often cause too many drunk-driving (DUI) automobile accidents, in addition to wrongful death car accidents.

If parents can monitor EDRs of their children, perhaps this can deter teenagers from dangerous behavior that could result in a car accident or serious injuries.

Please feel free to call us now at 1-858-551-2090 or you can click here for a free consultation with an experienced car accident attorney.  We have a large bilingual staff that can assist you in either English or Spanish.  No fee if no recovery.

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