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Vehicle Black Boxes: Will they Make or Break Your Case?

by ShelbyW on December 20, 2012

If you thought so-called “black boxes” were only for airplanes, think again. The truth is, black boxes are already installed in many motor vehicles, and recent legal developments may soon see them as a requirement in all automobiles.

What is a Black Box?

A black box is essentially a device that captures and records the internal workings of equipment. In most cases, black boxes have been used in aviation craft to monitor, capture and record flight data to be analyzed in the event of a malfunction or accident. In a motor vehicle, the usage is no different.

Why Install Black Boxes in Motor Vehicles?

Because black boxes capture and record operational data from machines, and because motor vehicles are far more likely to be involved in accidents when compared to aviation craft, many auto manufacturers and lawmakers believe that installing black boxes will make it easier to determine exactly what took place during a motor vehicle accident.

Additionally, many motor vehicle accidents take place with no witnesses, and this means that law enforcement, insurance companies and so on only have the testimony of the drivers and passengers involved to go on when making a judgment. Unfortunately, people who cause accidents may lie in order to avoid penalties, and this can lead to lengthy criminal and civil proceedings and millions of dollars paid out to individuals who were at fault.

What Do Black Boxes Mean for You?

On the one hand, having a mandatory black box installed in your vehicle means a lesser amount of privacy. Because a black box would record operation of your vehicle, you might be at risk for exposing things such as your location, your driving habits and more. On the other hand, having a black box installed in your vehicle may become the difference between the truth and a lie if you’re involved in an accident.

Because a black box can monitor important operation information, many car accident attorneys believe it may become harder for a responsible party to twist the facts if he or she causes an accident involving your vehicle. Essentially, all the authorities would need to do is examine the information contained in your vehicle’s black box at or around the time of the accident.

The Possibility for Unintended Consequences

While black box technology has certainly advanced over the past few decades, it’s still not perfect. As with everything electronic and digitized, black box technology is prone to mistakes, and this could mean major problems for innocent accident victims who find themselves in the cross-hairs of an investigation with a faulty black box in their vehicles.

If you find yourself in such a situation, most experts agree that partnering with an attorney is the right thing to do. Because accident attorneys specialize in investigating roadway accidents, partnering with such a legal professional may clear your name and get you compensation for accident-related injuries, even if your vehicle’s black box suggests that you were at fault in your accident.

Finally, consider the fact that, with or without a black box, you’ll need to pay close attention to details before, during and after an accident. Most accidents can be traumatic, however minor, and your mind may have a hard time focusing. By making a conscious effort to control your thoughts and your memory during an accident, you will be able to offer details that a black box simply won’t be able to match, ultimately bolstering your case.

Researcher Shelby Warden explores the latest safety news and contributes articles for the legal communities.  The car accident attorneys at Steinger, Iscoe & Greene of Miami have been helping injured auto accident victims for many years. Whether your accident involves black box evidence or relies on testimony and witnesses, their firm will work hard to defend your rights and help you recover financially.

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