Since the late 1990s, many major American car brands have been installing black boxes in their vehicles. Then, in 2012, the federal government created laws requiring all companies to install this technology. Today, most cars on our roadways have black boxes. Unless you have an older model vehicle, the chances that you have a black box installed in your vehicle are high.

Black box data can play a key role in your personal injury case if you’ve been involved in a car accident. If you or a loved one was injured in an accident, our team is here to guide you through the tricky South Carolina personal injury legal process. Cavanaugh & Thickens is currently accepting new clients and our lawyers are equipped with the experience and resources needed to get you the entirety of what you’re owed. To get an award-winning car accident lawyer on your side, simply give our team a call now at (803) 888-2200, start a website chat with us, or email and a member of our team will be in touch with you shortly.

What Data Does a Vehicle’s Black Box Collect?

Example of black box data collected after a SC car accident
Example of black box data collected after a SC car accident

Black boxes collect important data before, during, and after collisions. This information can help your lawyer prove fault, a critical component in all South Carolina car accident cases, optimize your injury claim, and much more. Depending on the year, make, and model of your vehicle, black box data can show:

  • Vehicle speed before impact
  • Vehicle speed at impact
  • Crash duration
  • Headlights/taillights
  • Turn signal use
  • Force of the impact
  • Accelerator position
  • Brake activation
  • Steering wheel angle
  • Driver and front passenger seat belt use
  • Airbag deployment/speed
  • Front seat positions
  • Tilt of the vehicle
  • Throttle position
  • And more.

This information can prove critical aspects of your personal injury case. For example, if someone claimed to be using their turn signal, we may be able to identify whether or not that was true with concrete evidence.

This data is especially important if:

  • It was a fatal accident.
  • The parties involved don’t remember the specifics of the accident.
  • It is unclear who was at fault for the accident.

How Can I Get Access to Black Box Data After an Accident?

In order to access and preserve critical black box data, it’s important to speak with a car accident attorney quickly following an accident. It’s important to note that black box data is protected by the Driver Privacy Act. This means that in South Carolina, in order to retrieve black box data, you must get the vehicle owner or lessee’s approval or via a court order.

An experienced lawyer will file the necessary paperwork, notify the other party’s insurance company to preserve the data, and obtain a court order if needed to access this information. Black box retrieval equipment can be costly depending on the location of the vehicle and its accessories. Luckily, an experienced car accident attorney can help. Our team will access this data, analyze it, and use it to help build your case and/or to strengthen the case against the at-fault party.

We’re here to help you following a South Carolina car wreck. If you have questions about your accident or obtaining black box data, give us a call today at (803) 888-2200. We’re here to help.

Do Insurance Companies Look at Black Box Data?

The Driver Privacy Act states that electronically recorded data on motor vehicles is the property of the owner or lessee and such information cannot be accessed by third-parties (such as insurance companies) without the consent of the owner/lessee or a court order. So, generally, following a car accident involving one or multiple cars, insurance companies cannot use black box data unless they get consent from the appropriate party or via a court order.

Contact the Reputable Car Accident Lawyers at Cavanaugh & Thickens, LLC

After a car accident, a reputable car accident lawyer can help protect your rights and make sure you’re getting the compensation you deserve. Don’t make the mistake of falling for the insurance companies tricks or accepting a settlement offer much lower than what you actually deserve.

Hiring a Cavanaugh & Thickens car accident lawyer can make all the difference in your case. With over 60 years of combined experience, our lawyers have the knowledge and experience to fight for you inside and outside of the courtroom. Our mission is to ensure that you recover as best as possible physically, financially, and emotionally.

To get started on the road to justice and recovery today, simply call our office at (803) 888-2200, fill out our online form, or email With offices in Charleston and Columbia, we aggressively defend clients throughout the state of South Carolina.