Wrecked Car

Event Data Recorders, or EDR’s, are devices that save technical vehicle data during a collision. This data can be useful in an accident investigation and can be accessed (or imaged) by a third-party company with specialized data-retrieval equipment, software, and an industry expert – such as the ones at Applied Technical Services.

Event Data Recorders: Explained

Often informally referred to as black boxes, event data recorders are found in nearly all modern vehicles and can vary by manufacturer. These EDR’s do not record audio or video, but instead save the technical data of a car’s operation during a collision and the five seconds before the impact. Such data typically includes vehicle speed, braking and throttle position, engine rpm, seat belt use, airbag deployment, safety system activations, and crash force. Some systems also record other metrics like steering input, roll angle in rollover cases, tire pressure, yaw rate, and gear selection. In the event of a crash with airbag deployment, EDR data is permanently saved. In more minor collisions, where the vehicle’s airbags do not deploy, EDR data may still be saved but only temporarily.

Getting Crash Data

Accessing this crash data, however, goes far beyond a quick download on a home computer. The recorder itself is tamper-proof and requires a special Crash Data Retrieval System to download the information from the vehicle, along with professional training to forensically analyze the data. 

What it Means

Event data recorders can be used in legal matters as concrete evidence of what happened at a crash event, show driver behavior in the leading moments of the accident, suggest negligence or recklessness, and even determine whether there was a defect or malfunction in a vehicle’s operation. In support of a personal injury case, this is all valuable information that ATS Engineers are able to uncover through the Event Data Recorder analysis.

ATS Forensic Services

Applied Technical Services’ forensic investigators are committed to performing detailed analysis for various vehicle accident situations using proven scientific and engineering principles. ATS Forensic Services additionally offers vehicle accident reconstruction, products liability investigation, secured evidence storage, and site scanning to insurance companies, attorneys and law enforcement for their forensic investigation needs. 

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