In a very recent, and quite excellent, article by Peter Thom, an Event Data Recorder (EDR) expert, he makes clear that a scant five (5)seconds' worth of data retrieved from a tiny microprocessor embedded in your car can drastically affect the outcome of a trial should you suffer personal injury in an automobile accident. That's precisely why, Thom argues, that attorneys would do well to appreciate the intricacies of EDRs and the data they compile.
EDRs installed in vehicle safety systems can reveal the details of crash events, and that information can help determine precisely what happened. Typical data collected by EDRs includes vehicle and throttle positioning, speeds, velocity changes, seat belt status and airbag deployment status, as well as elapsed time from impact to airbag deployment. The latest generation of EDRs offers expanded recording segments and data collections that include yaw rates (related to a vehicle's spin) and steering angles.
Thom notes, "(T)he EDR's challenge is that it is technology developed by automakers but appropriated by an external audience. The first real regulatory mandate for these devices in the 1980s was to verify the performance of airbag safety systems. But soon other parties - including transportation researchers, regulators, insurance companies, and, of course, attorneys - came to view EDR technology as a source of useful accident data.
Today's EDRs developed by car companies address standards established by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) which have a compliance deadline of September 1, 2012.
Thom lastly opines, "that even if additional EDR data is available, however, there is no guarantee that the data will be accurate or complete. The technology is still developing, and current automotive EDRs are not yet as durable as the aviation models. At present no standards have been established for the type of data collected, sample rates, communications protocol, or module connectors."
Vehicles that are allowed to enter the market with faulty parts such as a weak roof or inability to withstand the impact of a crash can be the cause of life-changing injuries and death. Car manufacturers unfortunately choose profit over safety in some instances, and when they do, lives can be shattered.
The knowledge and experience of our attorneys can benefit anyone that has been injured in an automobile. Please call our firm today for a free consultation at 866.884.1717.