As just about everyone who watches the news knows by now, celebrity golfer Tiger Woods was involved in a terrible car crash on February 21, suffering serious leg injuries. Woods’ SUV veered off a Los Angeles County road, traveling about the length of a football field before rolling over in a small gulley, trapping him in his vehicle. Authorities are still investigating the cause of the crash, including securing a search warrant for the black box from the SUV Woods was driving.
According to USA TODAY, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department issued a search warrant on March 2 to obtain data from Wood’s vehicle, a Genesis GV80 SUV. In order to receive a warrant, authorities must establish a probable crime was committed. However, the Sheriff’s Department downplayed any criminal investigation.
Sheriff’s Deputy John Schloegl told USA TODAY, “If somebody is involved in a traffic collision, we’ve got to reconstruct the traffic collision, if there was any reckless driving, if somebody was on their cell phone or something like that. We determine if there was a crime. If there was no crime, we close out the case, and it was a regular traffic collision.”
According to the search warrant affidavit obtained by USA TODAY, “The deputies asked him how the collision occurred. Driver said he did not know and did not even remember driving… Driver was treated for his injuries at the hospital and was asked there again how the collision occurred. He repeated that he did not know and did not remember driving.”
What is a black box? How does it work?
The vehicle Woods was driving at the time of the crash, a 2021 Genesis GV80, is a luxury SUV that contains an event recorder called a “black box.” These boxes are similar to the ones you hear about on airplanes, but they’re not quite as sophisticated. Black boxes in passenger vehicles are required to store 15 data points, some of which include:
- How fast the vehicle rolled over
- Vehicle’s speed up to five seconds before impact
- Whether the gas pedal was pressed
- Whether the brake pedal was applied
- Whether the seat belt was fastened
- Whether and when the air bags inflated
- Whether advanced safety technology was working properly
Black boxes are typically located below the center of the dashboard or under the seats to keep them protected in the event of a serious car crash or collision.
No need to be alarmed – black boxes do not snoop or spy on you in your car. They are not like the black boxes in airplanes that record audio or any type of conversations. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), black box data is your property. However, Consumer Reports notes that “police or investigators can access the data with the owner’s consent, or can obtain a court order to gain access if the owner refuses.”
If you or a loved one suffered injuries due to a reckless or careless driver, the injury attorneys at Plattner Verderame, P.C. can help. We work to secure compensation for your medical bills and your pain and suffering. Let us put our experience to work for you. Please call us at 602-266-2002 or complete our contact form to arrange a time to speak with one of our experienced attorneys. We maintain offices in Phoenix and in Tempe to better serve you.
I have been active in leadership in the Arizona Association for Justice (lawyers who represent injured folks, and formerly known as the Arizona Trial Lawyers Association) since 1985. I served as President in 1991. I was an active participant in battles to protect the Arizona Constitution from the insurance industry and big business interests in 1986, 1990 and 1994.
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