Most people don’t realize that many newer makes and models of automobiles contain a Crash Data Retrieval (CDR) tool as part of the airbag control module. Even if the airbag does not deploy, the CDR records data once it is “activated” by a sudden change in direction, sudden rotations, or hard braking that often occur just prior to an accident. The CDR makes an electronic record of important data like speed, braking, steering angle, order of impact, seat belt use, presence of an occupant, and impact severity (change in velocity / delta v forces) in the few seconds before the crash. Different car makes and models record different amounts of data and different number of “events.” This electronic data can be retrieved by an expert technologist and the data is often used by law enforcement officers, accident reconstructionist, government researchers, insurance adjusters, and attorneys. It is very important that your attorney has the experience and knowledge of how to preserve this information for a trial or negotiations with insurance companies.
Photo of Lillian K. Saba And John K. Kline