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New cars have black boxes that can log driving activity

Proving who is to blame for future car accidents in Pennsylvania may soon be easier now that many new vehicles are being built with event data recorders. Commonly referred to as black boxes, event data recorders create a log of driving activity that may be analyzed after a crash. Around 25 percent of new vehicles are now manufactured with such devices. However, 90 percent of vehicles are expected to have them by 2020.

The event data recorders that are used in Tesla Motors vehicles record exceptionally detailed information. Tesla cars are also constantly connected to the Internet so that data from the recorders is always being transferred back to Tesla. In June, Tesla quickly determined the details of a car accident involving one of its vehicles. Although the driver said the car suddenly accelerated on its own, Tesla said that its data showed that use of the accelerator pedal had been increased.

Along with proving fault in car accidents, car manufacturers are using event data recorders to collect data for the development of autonomous vehicles. Insurance companies are also making use of driving data, and some agencies give discounts to drivers who install event data recorders in their vehicles.

After a person is injured in a car accident, the injured victim may decide to sue the driver at fault for damages. If one of the vehicles involved in the crash was outfitted with an event data recorder, information from the driving log could help to strengthen the plaintiff's claim. An attorney may be able to help a plaintiff to determine if there are any driving logs that could be presented in court.

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