By :Douglas A. Petho
Unless you are fortunate enough to have a videotape of an accident, a great deal of effort is often spent trying to reconstruct the facts of a collision. Usually, despite doing the best investigation, questions remain exactly how or why a crash occurs. Answers to many of these questions will soon be available from data of contained from the “event data recorders” otherwise known as “EDT’s”.
EDt’s are nothing new. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that about 64 percent of 2005 model passenger vehicles had the devices. By 2005, General Motors, Ford, Isuzu, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Subaru, and Suzuki were all voluntarily equipping all of their vehicles with EDRs, According to NHTSA, these devices are standard equipment from manufacturers including Chevrolet, Ford, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Subaru, General Motors, Isuzu, and Suzuki. The problem has been being able to gain access, understand, and use this information. With no standardized format, proprietary software and a wide variation in the types of information that were actually recorded, their usefulness has been limited.