When it comes to investigating and litigating Massachusetts motor vehicle accidents, here’s the way it’s been for a long, long time: One car hits another, causing injuries. The victim in the car that was hit tries to prove that the other vehicle was speeding, causing the accident. As a Boston, Massachusetts car accident lawyer, I can easily say that in these types of Massachusetts personal injury cases, it has been sometimes difficult to prove who was at fault, especially when no witnesses were present and it was merely one party’s word against the other.
But that’s all changing, thanks to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In 2006, it mandated that all new vehicles were to be outfitted with Event Data Recorder (EDR) “black boxes” by 2013. Currently, about 85% of American vehicles have these devices, which record and highlight about 15 types of crash data. That information includes pre-crash speed, airbag deployment data, changes in forward velocity, and engine throttle.
Try to think about the “black box” as being just like a plane’s, which is used after crashes to explain how they happened, and what circumstances were in effect when the crash happened.
What this all means is that if you have been involved in a Massachusetts car accident, and were driving a newer-model car, it’s likely there was a witness involved: Riding under your hood. In the past, a lack of credible witnesses may have allowed for parties to “massage” what really happened – but not anymore. Having a “black box” in your car, keeping tabs on all of your driving behavior, means that you should be even more careful and cognizant of following the letter of the law, in terms of obeying all road signs, traffic lights, and posted speeds.
Who knows? As a Dedham, Massachusetts car accident attorney, now that we know that “Big Brother” is watching, it just might make better drivers of us all.