“Black Box” Data Retrieval

Since the origins of airbags in motor vehicles, manufacturers have installed devices that command the airbags to deploy. The modern day version of this trigger is a computer of sorts that collects data from several sources throughout the vehicle. When a programed threshold is reached, the airbags deploy. The storage point for all of the collected data is affectionately called the vehicle’s “Black Box”.

Other Industry Names for the “Black Box” are Airbag Control Module, System Diagnostic Module, Electronic Control Module, Electronic Data Recorder and Crash Data Recorder.

The data collected varies by manufacturer and vehicle year, however, the amount of data that we can collect continues to increase with each newer generation of vehicle. Data obtained from the vehicle’s data recorder is quickly becoming of one of the best sources of information on collisions.

The Imaged Data can Reveal the Following:

Imaged data can be collected from a “Deployment Event” where the airbags activate and “Non-deployment Events” where the airbags never activate, yet certain criteria were met within the control module. This data can include:

  • Vehicle Speed
  • Throttle Position
  • Degree of Steering
  • Rate of Steering
  • Vehicle Rotation
  • Vehicle Braking
  • G forces
  • Change of Speed at Impact
  • Seat Belt Use
  • Driver Behavior
  • Up to 21 Seconds Pre-Impact Data
  • Up to 5+ Seconds Post Impact Data
  • And Much More


We collect, or “Image” the “Black Box” data using the Bosch Crash Data Retrieval software and the Hyundai & Kia Crash Data Retrieval software.

Most data collection can be accomplished through a connection under the dash of a vehicle. However, when catastrophic electrical damage occurs to the vehicle system, a back powering method can be used, or the module can be removed from the vehicle altogether and imaged outside of the vehicle.

The vehicle might be completely destroyed by fire, completely submerged in water, or completely crushed by crash damage and still have a properly functioning data recorder.

It is very important to realize that the raw data MUST BE interpreted by a trained Analyst who will consider all aspects of the crash in conjunction with the Imaged Data.

Traffic Reconstruction & Transportation Compliance is able to capture and analyze the data from your Crash Data Recorder.