We have all heard about airplanes having black boxes, which is the main thing that is searched for after a plane crashes. It has important data in it that can tell us how the plane crashed, in terms of what the pilots may or may not have been doing as well as any problems that the plane may have been experiencing right before it crashed. Did you know your car might have a black box too? Yes, your car is likely to have a black box. Most cars on the road today, if they were made within the last 2 decades, have a black box that records how the vehicle was driven and any problems the vehicle experienced just before a crash. Here is a list of some of the things that current black boxes track: vehicle speed, throttle position, airbag deployment times, whether brakes were applied, if seatbelts were worn, engine speed, steering angles, and more.
Would be great if there were a device that was reasonably priced that could extract the data from the black boxes, but as of now the equipment to extract the data is fairly expensive, ranging from a couple of thousand dollars to twenty thousand dollars. Not the type of thing that every household needs or wants to invest in, so chances are most people do not have such equipment.
When it's very important to analyze the black box data it can be obtained by hiring an accident reconstructionist to extract it. As you can imagine an accident reconstructionist is not cheap, so the claim has to warrant the hiring of such an expert before one would be retained to extract the data.
Sometimes police will take the black box from a car after an accident and will have the data extracted. The accident at issue would probably have to involve someone losing their life in order for the police to deem the matter worthy of extracting the data from the black box.
Keep in mind, while you are driving, that even if no one is watching you or observing how you are driving, it is still possible to determine exactly how you were driving just before an accident, because the black box records such data. Drive carefully and be sure to feed your black box good data.