A number of recent car models from notable auto vendors come equipped with event data recorders (EDRs), or ‘black boxes’ as they are popularly known. U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) now wants all new lighter vehicles to contain a black box by 2014.
EDRs have, over the years, proved to be quite useful in discerning the causes of accidents. It is for this reason that most of the recent car models essentially come with EDRs. According to NHTSA, nearly 96 percent of the new light vehicles arriving in 2013 will have these black boxes.
Currently, the federal agency is pushing for the use of black boxes in lighter vehicles because it believes that the data gathered from them will be invaluable in improving road safety and significantly trimming the number of road accidents. It would also let the federal agency discern when and how a car failed to work at a critical moment so as to determine which car models are unsafe.
The EDRs which NHTSA wants installed in new cars will compile a wide range of data from the car. This data includes vehicle speed, brake performance, momentum of impact and a whole lot of other factors to exactly show how was the car performing at the time of the collision.
According to NHTSA Administrator, David Strickland, “EDRs provide critical safety information that might not otherwise be available to NHTSA to evaluate what happened during a crash – and what future steps could be taken to save lives and prevent injuries. A broader EDR requirement would ensure the agency has the safety-related information it needs to determine what factors may contribute to crashes across all vehicle manufacturers.”