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Will 'Black Boxes' Be Mandatory in New Cars?

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By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on January 25, 2012 9:03 AM

Car accident investigations can be tough. Imagine sifting through twisted metal and shards of glass. It's not always easy to uncover what exactly happened. That's why "black boxes" in cars may soon become a reality.

Most Americans know what "black boxes" are. Authorities scrounge the ocean and ground for the device after planes crash. The device tracks and records what happened on the aircraft. It illuminates possible reasons the accident occurred.

A similar device could be installed on vehicles.

This idea was recently endorsed by the U.S. National Research Council. The "black box" in your car could end up telling investigators what happened right before you lost control.

It can assist in investigations of car accidents. This is especially true in cases that involve electronic issues & which may be on the rise. Many modern cars have a whole bevy of electronic sensors, equipment, and computer parts installed.

These electronic parts offer consumers convenience. They also lay on an extra level of difficulty when it comes to investigations.

In 2009 Toyota instituted a recall over its vehicles. It was the world's largest, according to the New York Daily News. The automaker's cars unintentionally accelerated.

Toyota inspected gas pedals and floor mats, which the company believed were the culprits. Yet many still believed there was an electronic cause. Some think there was a problem with the car's electronic throttle control systems (ETCs). Investigatory agencies were unable to find proof.

But that might change if "black boxes" are installed in cars. This could mean car accident investigations will provide more information. It may also mean consumers may have a greater chance of filing successful lawsuits. The more evidence there is to bolster your claim, the better off your legal chances.

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