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Will New Black Box Standards Help Prevent Car Accidents?

The same black boxes that are used to investigate plane accidents have been installed in motor vehicles since the 1990s. However, the data collected has not been very valuable with respect to motor vehicle accidents because each carmaker uses a different system.

However, that is slated to change this fall when new federal standards take effect. Although the new rules will not make these devices mandatory, they will standardize what data event data recorders (EDRs) will record as well as how it will be stored and retrieved.

As highlighted by Consumer Reports, the issue came to light during the investigation into the unintended acceleration of Toyota vehicles. Congressional hearings revealed that Toyota had only one computer in the United States that was capable of interpreting the data from these recorders.

The new rules take effect October 1, 2012. As San Diego injury lawyers, we are hopeful that the data collected can be used to improve the safety of future vehicles and prevent crashes.