What would you do if you were involved in a motor vehicle accident but the only people who saw it were you and the driver who hit you? Many drivers may not be willing to admit that they were at fault, especially if they seriously injured another motorist, but technology is making it easier for these victims to receive compensation for their pain and injuries.
Many of the major automakers have been installing "event data recorders" in cars since the mid-2000s. Some car companies, such as General Motors, have been using these devices since the 1990s. An event data recorder is like the black box of an airplane; it records things like whether the driver was using the brakes or the accelerator at the time of impact, in which direction the car was being steered, whether the driver or passengers were wearing seatbelts, and how fast the car was going. Although this information is always recorded, it is only saved if an air bag is used.
This kind of technology can be used by accident investigators and police to verify Nashville drivers' and car accident victims' stories. It can also be used to fill in holes of just how an accident happened. One Columbia, Tennessee, insurance claims adjuster has said that he works with drivers whose stories have been proven false by the data collected from these "black boxes."
It seems that there has been no uniform regulation of how this information can be used, however. Some companies only will release event data recorder information to the owner of the car or with the owner's permission, but it is clear that the information can be used by police or accident investigators with the proper legal authority.
This kind of technology may prove to be extremely useful in holding negligent or reckless drivers accountable for their actions and getting the people they have injured the resources and money they deserve after a traumatic car accident.