The Crash Data Recorder (CDR), also known as the Event Data Recorder is simply the airbag control module with a memory. Some supported vehicles date back to 1994 but all vehicles, which are newer than 2015, by law are required to have a Crash Data Recorder.
ATI has expertise and training in both extracting event data as well as interpreting the data in relation to the events.
The data cannot stand alone and will not be admitted into court at face value. A proper analysis must be done of the data and its content verified.
Most Commercial vehicles are now supported with Electronic Control Modules (ECMs), Electronic Log Systems, Telematic Systems, and Dash Cameras. Identifying and harvesting this data can be essential to determining how an accident occurred. This data can include speed, braking, acceleration, deceleration, GPS, driver logs, and much more.
The next question is was the vehicle compliant with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Standards (FMCSS)? A thorough examination can and should be done of the tractor and trailer to ensure compliance.
ATI utilizes the latest technology to capture and produce a to-scale 2-D and 3-D model of the scene. We use the FARO scanner as well as a Trimble Robotic Total Station to capture scene evidence. Having a to-scale diagram of the scene allows us to place vehicles on the roadway evidence in order to determine crash causation, accident dynamics, time distance analysis, avoidability, and more.
The laws of physics dictate how an accident can and cannot occur. Capturing the evidence through data systems and physical evidence allows an accident reconstructionist to determine how an accident occurred. Who was across the centerline? How did speed effect the causation of the accident? What other factors contributed to this accident?
The computer which controls the cars navigation, radio, phone, Bluetooth, etc, is an infotainment system. Every time a phone is “synced” with the infotainment system, the car downloads the names and phone numbers of every person in that phones contact list. When a text message is sent or received, when a phone call is made, when a website is accessed, the infotainment system will record the text message, phone call data, or website data, and create an event. For each event the Date, Time, and Location (DTL) will be recorded within the infotainment system. The system also records DTLs for when the car is turned on/off, headlights turned on/off, placed into drive or reverse, doors opened and closed, and much more. This data can be used to create a timeline of events, help determine fraud in an accident, or simply identify if the driver was on their phone at the time of the accident.
We often get the question, where the headlights, flashers, or reverse light on at the time of impact? A lamp exam can be done to scientifically determine if the lights were on or off at the time of impact. Halogen light bulbs contain tungsten filaments, that when energized emit light. When that tungsten is energized it becomes malleable and will elongate when subjected to a substantial impact. The elongation is a clear sign of being on at the time of impact. Vice versa, when not energized that tungsten is brittle and can break indicating it was off at the time of impact. ATI has the training and expertise to conduct lamp exams and determine if those lights were on or off in an accident.