NHTSA could soon mandate that all new cars be sold with... NHTSA could soon mandate that all new cars be sold with data-collecting equipment. (Photo courtesy ABC News).


Black boxes have helped investigators solve the causes of plane crashes for decades. Now authorities hope they can shed light on causes of car accidents.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants auto manufacturers to install the black boxes in new cars and light trucks.

Data records could keep tabs on a number of items that could help reconstruct car accidents – and perhaps lead to safety enhancements. They could help determine vehicle speed, whether brakes are applied, information about engine throttle, fuel economy and whether seat belts were buckled, says ABC News.

Not everyone is thrilled with that idea. Consumer advocates believe the boxes could result in higher insurance rates for those whose driving behavior is monitored. Privacy leaders believe the data could be used to spy on motorists.

"There are important safety concerns here and they shouldn't be ignored, but there are also pressing privacy concerns," Chris Calabrese, of the American Civil Liberties Union, tells ABC News. "Chiefly, who's going to access this information and how long is it going to be collected? I'd make sure that the owner of the vehicle controls the data."

Some manufacturers have installed black boxes on specific models, starting with General Motors in 1999, but NHTSA would like to mandate for all new vehicles. Now that onboard technology has evolved, they believe it would be easier to collect the data now.

Congress rejected legislation that would have mandated event data recorders in cars in 2010. But NHTSA could sidestep Congressional approval with its own rules. The White House has given its support to a rule that would require all future cars and trucks to be equipped with black boxes.

Last week, the Office of Management and Budget reviewed a proposal, and regulations are "likely" to follow early next year, says TheDetroitBureau.com.



I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 488 Comments
      larry
      • 2 Years Ago
      We are living under a DICTATORSHIP and SOCIALISM. This is no longer America. Is this Korea ???
      • 2 Years Ago
      big brother is watching
      bombaro11515
      • 2 Years Ago
      I am opposed to these Boxes being called Black Boxes, Is it because we called the Capitol The White House, just saying.
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is but a continuation of the Bush administration's Patriot Act thinking-- people have no right to privacy and if they haven't anything to hide they should not find a pat down objectionable. Well I find this line of thought from the lunatic right highly objectionable!
        • 2 Years Ago
        the right? who is in the white house? dumb ass
          Stan
          • 2 Years Ago
          The Obama droids have to find someone else to blame their lord god and savior is perfect to them
      ROBERT
      • 2 Years Ago
      NO MORE BIG BROTHER ! NO MORE SYING ON AMERICANS ! this is yet one way we give them an inch then they turn around and take the mile . it has to stop , we are a free country or at least we are supposed to be. this is why i buy only cars 15 to 20 years old
        kng20
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ROBERT
        My old car gave out and we purchased a new 2012 model. Its incredable all the fan dangled crap they put into new cars. You feel like your are driving a computer down the damn road. Touch screen. Functions up the ying yang. Keyless ingition. If you don't do things right you can't start the damn thing. Dont ask how much replacement parts cost if the damn thing throws a fit. Now they want to spy on you too? I am 68 - hope this car will last me until I am gone. Big Brother is bound and determined to know everything about you and control you. They are able to spy on your Phone calls - Read what you write - (like here) - they can track people where they go - know how you spend your money - where you spend it - on and on. When will the people say "ENOUGH"???
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ROBERT
        Pretty soon that right will be taken too.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Smaller Screen. I see you support Obama and that you think it all a scam for Insurance companies to charge you more. Get out of your small screen and look at the big picture. It all goes back to the legal system and these ambulance chasing attorneys and lazy people wanting something for nothing. If the insurance company’s all went out of business we’d all be screwed. Why should my rates go up because some texting dumb ass rear ends people 3 and 4 times? And some TV Attorney makes a bundle off a deal like this? Who do you think pays for that? YOU and I do!!! So if some Black box would help I’m all for it.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Am I the only person out there that sees society running as fast as they can to emulate the 1984 society.
      otter
      • 2 Years Ago
      raise the driving age, that will deter alot of accidents. anything for money. puttting kids behind the wheel at such and early age. might have been cool when there wasnt alot of drivers but now its suicide.also mandatory required hours before you can drive and show proficiancy
      billybuttlooker
      • 2 Years Ago
      only thing it will do is bring more law suits
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think it is a good idea, people drive like animals . I have seen people speed and slam into a car and they did not even hit the brakes.
      jwcatl
      • 2 Years Ago
      I hear Obama wants to put a camera in every kitchen so the Feds can see what kind of food you are eating. After all, overweight people will cost tax payers more money with Obamacare.
      randmhunley
      • 2 Years Ago
      the ways of the NAZISM have reached our shores hitler like to track everybody and everything SEE HOW ALL THAT TURNED OUT
    • Load More Comments