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NHTSA to mandate black boxes in all cars

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has long requested that black boxes, or event data recorders (EDRs), become standard on all vehicles. Now, it appears they will get their wish. Last Thursday, the White House Offices of Management Budget finished its review of the proposal, allowing the NHTSA to begin the process of publishing final regulations.

The regulations will change little; 91.6 percent of cars already have black boxes. Yet, in car accidents without EDRs, it can be difficult to determine the cause and, thus, collect the data the NHTSA needs to improve traffic safety.

According to the NHTSA, "rulemaking to mandate EDRs across the entire light-vehicle fleet could contribution to advancements in vehicle designs, and advanced restraint and other safety countermeasures."

Event data recorders: Helpful car accident lawsuit tools

EDRs can also be helpful in determining fault in car accidents. Most EDRs offer data for the seconds following a crash and some even offer pre-crash data. They can be used to determine whether a driver was wearing a seatbelt, the speed that the car was going, whether a driver used the brakes properly and other important data. In fact, the new regulations will require event data recorders to record at least 15 different elements.

If you were injured in a car accident, an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you collect the data you need to prove causation and hold a negligent driver responsible. This may include obtaining EDR information, reconstructing the accident, speaking with witnesses and reviewing police reports. It will also be necessary to collect information about your injuries and recovery from medical professionals. Insurance companies have trouble saying "no" or low-balling settlement offers when there is strong evidence showing both causation and injury.

Learn more by visiting our pages on Nashville car accidents.

Source: The Detroit News, "NHTSA gets White House OK to mandate vehicle 'black boxes'" David Shepardson, Dec. 6, 2012.

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