Car black boxes are data recorders that track and store different information on a car's operation, condition and performance. As you can imagine, they can be very useful in determining what was happening in your car just before an accident. For that reason, there are three things you should know about the use of black boxes in accident cases.
- The Data is Not Accessible to Everyone
One of the things you should know is that you can't just walk up to the other driver and demand his or her car's black box, even if you have the technology and skill to read it. State laws determine who can access the data, and the circumstances under which they can do so. In most cases, you have to petition the court for the information.
These laws are in place to prevent encroachment of motorists' rights to privacy. They are important because privacy concerns are some of the most common reasons for opposing the use of automobile black boxes.
2. The Stored Information Can Be Used Against You in Court
If the court allows retrieval of black box data, then the information can be used against you in a lawsuit. This is something that has happened before and is likely to happen again. According to a Superior Court that allowed the use of black box data as evidence, the admissibility of the data is based on the fact that it is a reliable scientific technology. Although this was a criminal case, it does not require a stretch of the imagination to believe that it applies to civil lawsuits too.
3. The Data Can Reveal Crucial Information
If you have been involved in an accident, then it's wise to know the kind of information that your black box contains. This is important because the data can be retrieved and used against you in a lawsuit.
Black boxes collect different types of data, but the common ones include the cars speed, use of seatbelts and the application of brakes. As you can see, these are all crucial data that can make or break a case. For example, investigators can use the recorded speed to tell whether you were driving over the speed limit.
The use of car black boxes in court cases is still an emerging issue. As with all emerging issues, a controversial issue that is not clear today may have adequate regulation the next day. For example, states that do not have the relevant regulation on who can access black box data are working to provide clarity on these issues. If you are involved in an accident, and the issue of the black box comes up, talk to your lawyer because he or she is likely to have the latest information (laws and regulations).
To learn more about your rights, contact a personal injury lawyer like Robert M Kaner Attorney.