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Can Your Car Help You after an Accident?


There are many sources of help after you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident – family, friends, insurance companies, and attorneys.  But did you know that your vehicle may be able to help you as well?  Read on to discover how.

What Is a Black Box?

Today’s technology has made many advances possible for vehicles.  Most vehicles manufactured after 2012 contain a “black box” (that may in reality be any color).  The black box records various pieces of information about the vehicle and how it is traveling.  It is similar to the concept of the black box for airplanes- it records data about the vehicle, where it goes, and what it does.

What Can a Black Box Tell Me?

A variety of things!  A black box can tell the speed of the vehicle at and prior to impact, the steering angle at impact, whether passengers were wearing seatbelts, whether brakes were applied, whether airbags are deployed, and potentially even more!  The black box is part of the car’s safety system, which does things like decide whether to tighten seatbelts at the last moment before a collision or whether to inflate airbags.

Why Is a Black Box Useful?

A black box contains all of the useful data discussed above, so it could be very important to your or your loved one’s car accident claim.  It can provide useful information to establish fault and to paint a picture of the circumstances of the accident.  Imagine an eyewitness with perfect perception and a perfect memory and you’ve got somewhat of an idea of what a black box can do for you and your claim.  Perhaps most importantly, data from black boxes can help establish which vehicle was at fault, a crucial determination in your automobile accident personal injury claim.

What about Vehicles Built before 2012?

If your vehicle was manufactured prior to 2012, there is still a decent chance your vehicle has a black box.  Black boxes have been installed in cars since the late 1990s, in particular in General Motors cars.  Other companies followed suit in the early 2000s.  Beginning in 2012, the federal government mandated new guidelines to virtually require black boxes in vehicles.

What Else Do I Need to Know?

If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident, there is a chance all of this data is still embedded in the black box inside your car.  That means it is essential to act quickly after the accident to acquire that data.  Otherwise, the information may be overwritten by new data to avoid taking up storage space on the vehicle’s hard drive. 

Get an Attorney’s Help

There are several considerations to keep in mind after a car accident.  Many of these considerations are necessary to preserve your claim, your rights, and your interests.  To protect these things, contact an experienced Columbia car accident attorney today at The Stanley Law Group.  Don’t delay, because evidence such as black box evidence from vehicles can become damaged or destroyed before it can be preserved.  Call 803-799-4700 and set up a consultation.


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