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Cars > Blogs > Official Motortopia Blog > Question of the Day: How do you feel about black boxes in autos?


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Question of the Day: How do you feel about black boxes in autos?

By motortopia

Today's QotD was suggested by JerryandMary. Jerry recently came across this article talking about Crash Data Recorders, or "black boxes."

Vehicles have been equipped with "black boxes" since 1974 (GM was the first), but in the 1990s, they started actually recording data that can detail how you drive. They are tied in with the airbag system, and they record the speed, braking, acceleration, and other data for the period five seconds before an accident.

Opponents argue that it is too "Big Brother" and basically amounts to spying on drivers. Proponents, on the other hand, think they are an invaluable tool for accident reconstructions. In some cases, this data has been used to get convictions in deadly crashes.

So what do you think? Are these black boxes a tool that can help investigators, or do they step over the line and violate your privacy?

Tell us in the comments!

(By the way, you can find out if your car has a black box here.)

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Read comments on this blog post 1 – 4 of 4

BigNuttyPaul’s Profile Photo
May 3, 2008 at 9:14 am
i'm with you 100% Jerry. i don't think the law should ever be abused. but we all know that as long there are tools that provide any info, there will be people that abuse those tools. that is not just in the automotive field or the the law enforcement field that statement rings true.
camaro1093ac’s Profile Photo
May 2, 2008 at 4:22 pm
I guess as long as we get to decide if they can use the info. or not it would be ok. After all it`s our property.
BigNuttyPaul’s Profile Photo
May 2, 2008 at 1:39 pm
i'm with 71LemansGirl. one big question i have is how many people have onstar? that system is a lot more of a violation of priacy then any black box could ever be. or better yet how about driving with your cell phone. as long as the power is on they can track what you are doing with your "can't live without" cell phone. people get way to worry about "big brother" and don't worry about doing the right thing. the idea behind the black box was to try and make system that helped save lives, and in most ways it worked. anti lock brakes, electronic stability control, traction control, electronic brake force disribution, active head restraints, and the list goes on. without real world crash data how can you tell if system like these are going to do any good? just my take on the matter after working in the field for a number of years.
Redneck_Cowgirl’s Profile Photo
May 2, 2008 at 11:40 am
I am all for it. I was in an accident that the braking system failed and it was the recorded information that helped to prove I was telling the truth.
I am all for the newer system they are trying to get going for young drivers, it tracks the car, to alert the parents of speed, accidents, basically any unsafe driving. It send a message to the parents phone and/or email.
People dont realize how much big brother is in our daily life, so really what is the last 5 seconds of an accident? If that 5 seconds can help save lives or make driving more safe...I am all in.

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Cars > Blogs > Official Motortopia Blog > Question of the Day: How do you feel about black boxes in autos?

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