A new study recently completed by the European Commission has shown that the installation of an Event Data Recorder (EDR or 'Black Box' as it's known in aviation terms) in our cars could lead to improved safety and cheaper repair bills.
The research project which cost 2.4 million Euro over a three year period shows a 10% reduction in fatal accidents and a 25% reduction in repair bills for those drivers that had a 'Black Box' installed in their cars.
The study director, Ralf Schmidt-Cotta said, “The technology is like an independent, neutral witness. For police and insurance companies, it will be invaluable. It will also revolutionise road safety because of the psychological impact of having the boxes installed".
But would Irish drivers be happy to have their every move on the road recorded even if it did mean a cheaper insurance policy?
The VERONICA (Vehicle Event Recording based ON Intelligent Crash Assessment) project only stores data recorded 30 seconds prior to a crash and 15 seconds afterwards and was aimed principally at improving driver attitude. The idea being that once a driver knows their driving is being monitored they will automatically drive more carefully.
Surely this is a 'no-brainer'? The present cost of installing and running a black box is estimated at 600 Euro but technology in this area is improving all the time and reducing in price. Motorcheck met a supplier at the Top Gear event in the RDS last week that could offer a similar system for 150 Euro! If the psychological impact of installing these boxes could reduce road deaths by 10% isn't it worth considering their introduction on a mandatory basis?