Speed was the leading factor in a serious car crash on the North Side that left one person dead and two others in the hospital.
According to police, a 19-year-old man was traveling southbound in the 14800 block of Nacogdoches Road (Highway 2252) between O’Connor and Judson. As he attempted to pass another car, he accelerated and lost control of his vehicle, eventually winding up on the opposite side of the road. His car was T-boned by a northbound vehicle.
First responders had to use the Jaws of Life to extricate the man from the wreckage, and he was pronounced dead at the scene. Two occupants inside the other vehicle were rushed to a local critical care unit with various injuries, but were expected to survive.
Excessive speed is a contributing factor in over a third of fatal motor vehicle collisions in the United States. But, despite the danger, a majority of motorists admit that they speed either occasionally or frequently.
The advent of the Event Data Recorder has made it easier than ever to prove a vehicle’s speed. Whereas an attorney once had to rely on witnesses or a police report made after the fact, a car’s EDR records vehicle speed both at the time of impact and for up to ten or fifteen seconds prior to impact. In most cases, EDR data can only be downloaded by court order.
The government estimates that over 90 percent of cars currently on the road have an EDR, and all cars sold after September 1, 2013 must have a “black box.” At a minimum, EDRs must record 15 “faults,” including velocity, braking, steering, impact force, and airbag deployment. An EDR can also record other useful information, such as the amount of time for airbag deployment, seat positions inside the car, and the number of crash events.
Prior to obtaining a court order in discovery, an attorney can send a spoliation letter to the driver or insurance company that orders them to preserve EDR data. This letter can be invaluable, as EDRs are routinely destroyed as a matter of course.
It is critical to partner with an attorney quickly. For a free consultation with a New Braunfels personal injury attorney who gets to work quickly, contact our office. After-hours and hospital consultations are available.