When will black boxes be mandatory in all new vehicles?

Black boxes can help authorities solve the cause of car accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NHTSA wants black boxes to be installed in all new vehicles to help solve car accidents and increase public safety.

How do black boxes help solve the cause of car accidents? Black box devices record a vehicle’s data, including right before a vehicle is involved in an accident. The device records a vehicle’s speed, when the brakes were used, tracks information about fuel economy, if seat belts were used and information about the engine.

All these features can help authorities reconstruction and solve car accidents as well as possibly offer insight on what safety features are needed in vehicles. Some manufacturers have already installed black boxes in their vehicles. The NHTSA wants a mandate that would require all manufacturers to have black boxes installed in all new vehicles in the future.

Congress did not approve a proposal by the NHTSA in 2010. However, the NHTSA still has ways to have the mandate by proposing their own rules that the White House could support and enforce.

Opponents of mandating black boxes in all vehicles include consumer advocates who think it may raise insurance costs for drives. Privacy groups are also opposed to a mandate, stating that the data recorded could be used to spy on drivers in the U.S.

Regardless of support or opposition against the NHTSA mandate, there is evidence that black box devices would help solve car accidents and most likely provide insight to new safety measures needed to increase public safety. Car manufacturers and drivers will have to wait and see if the mandate is ever passed by Congress or if the NHTSA is able to require the devices on their own.

Source: AOL Autos, “Black Boxes Could Soon Help Solve Car Accidents,” Dec. 10, 2012

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