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Possible new tool for those injured in a car accident

Drivers today have more safety options for their cars than at any other time in the past. However, there are still may people every day that are injured in a car accident. Some experts, though, are claiming that a new device could possibly help determine what may have led to an accident in some situations. While this device has its share of critics, drivers everywhere, including in New York may need to be aware of its possible uses.

The device is similar to the so-called black boxes that are used in planes. Unlike the plane version which records everything that occurs during the flight and landing of the plane, this box would apparently only record the brief period of time that is related to when an accident happens. The device is reported to already be in place in thousands of cars.

While this device was first employed by auto makers to gauge the operation of their product, it could conceivably be used in criminal cases to provide evidence as to what driving habits may or may not have led to an accident. There have already been some cases where the data that the box has recorded was used to refute testimony of a few drivers. However, there are serious questions about how that type of data may or may not lead to an invasion of privacy for the driver.

New York state has already approved the process that would allow police to access the information stored on the box in the case of suspected criminal actions. There is also the possibility that a person that has been injured in a car accident in New York could seek a court order to gain access to that data as well in order to possibly provide prove that a driver may have caused their injuries through negligent driving such as speeding or improper braking. If an injured person has filed a personal injury lawsuit against a driver that they believe may have been responsible for the accident, then the data could prove to be of help to them.

Source: The New York Times, "A Black Box for Car Crashes," Jaclyn Trop, July 21, 2013

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