Quality Traffic Accident Reconstruction

Including crash data retrieval, at-scene
collision investigation and expert witness services

Accident Reconstruction

Accident investigation and reconstruction is designed to answer questions about how a traffic crash occurred. 

Crash Data Retrieval

Crash Data Retrieval (CDR) relies upon an instrument called an event data recorder (EDR).  

Fraud Investigation

Crash Data Services, LLC recognizes automotive insurance fraud poses a very significant problem.

About Crash Data Services, LLC

Crash Data Services, LLC provides quality traffic accident reconstruction including crash data retrieval, at-scene collision investigation and expert witness services. Our accident reconstructionists proudly serve Illinois, the Midwest and beyond. We customize our services to fit the needs of insurance providers, legal professionals, municipalities and more.

Services

High and low speed collision analysis

DUI related collision reconstruction

Bicycle accident reconstruction

Semi truck / commercial vehicle accidents

Car, truck, or SUV collision analysis

Head-on accident investigation

Rollover collision reconstruction

Human factors in crash investigation

Pedestrian accident reconstruction

Angle or side impact analysis

Animation & simulation accident analysis

Vehicle black box accident reconstruction

Infotainment downloads in crash investigation

Motorcycle accident reconstruction

The Expertise You Need

Crash Data Services, LLC has been involved in traffic accident investigation and crash reconstruction for over 20 years. Our expert witnesses are defined by practical investigative experience and comprehensive training.

We have examined thousands of collisions, maintain continuing education, and have extensive knowledge of the Illinois Vehicle Code. Our expert opinions about personal injury and fatal traffic accidents are clear, concise and provide reliable answers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is crash data retrieval (CDR)?

Crash data retrieval is a method used to gather information about a traffic accident. It consists of the downloading and analysis of data stored in the event data recorder of a vehicle’s airbag module, sometimes called an Airbag Control Module, Restraint Control Module or even a “vehicle black box”.

What are event data recorders (EDRs)?

Event Data Recorders (EDRs) are electronic devices, commonly called black boxes, that have been installed in motor vehicles dating back to the 1990’s. EDRs have the ability to record information about what a vehicle did before, during and immediately after a traffic crash. EDRs are generally part of a vehicle’s airbag control module, powertrain control module, or rollover sensor.

Do all vehicles have event data recorders?

No. However, the majority of vehicles currently manufactured have some type of EDR installed in them. By the year 2020, about 99% of all motor vehicles being sold in North America were equipped a “black box” that were accessible by way of a variety of diagnostic tools.

Do all event data recorders store the same information?

No. While there are certain minimum standards manufacturers have to meet, there is an abundance of non-mandated information manufacturers choose to record. When and how an EDR records, as well as the type of data recorded, is dependent upon the year, make, and model of the vehicle. An EDR can be configured to record a variety of data including, but not limited to, information about how a vehicle’s airbag and restraint system functioned as well as pre-crash speed, brake use or throttle application.

Can event data recorders (EDRs) record information if the vehicle is turned off?

No. EDRs can only record when power is applied. Powering of the event data recorder requires battery power be available, and the ignition is in the “on” position. Given the fact an EDR is normally a part of the vehicle’s airbag control module, there should never be a recording, nor airbag deployment, unless the vehicle was being used (driven).

What vehicles can currently be downloaded?

Nearly every vehicle being manufactured for North America has an event data recorder in it. However, their first implementation is highly dependent upon the individual car company. For example, General Motors first installed a downloadable EDR in 1994, while Volkswagen and Audi did not have known application of EDRs in their vehicles until 2015. Most vehicles can be downloaded with the Bosch Crash Data Retrieval tool. However, manufacturer specific tools are sometime required.

Will event data recorders ever become standardized?

Yes. NHTSA released a ruling (NHTSA-2006-25666; 49 CFR Part 563 Titled: Event Data Recorders) that regulated the type of information manufacturers had to recorded, as well as the method in which it must be stored. The ruling affected all vehicles manufactured for North America after September 1st 2012, and required all manufacturers make their EDR data available to the public.

Who owns the information contained within an event data recorder?

Generally, the data contained within an EDR should be treated as property of the vehicle owner. If consent to access the information from an EDR is being sought, then the vehicle owner should be contacted.

What is an Infotainment system, and can they be downloaded?

Vehicles have become increasingly complex, with numerous onboard vehicle computers to include, but not limited to, infotainment systems. The type(s) of data obtainable from a vehicle’s onboard computer system(s) can include unique identifiers of connected devices (via Bluetooth or wireless), call logs, contact lists, SMS messages, emails, pictures, videos, social media feeds, door openings, transmission shifts, hard accelerations or decelerations, stability control events, and GPS data, including data relating to recent destinations, favorite locations, and the navigation history of the subject vehicle. Our experts have the ability to download an interpret many of these devices.

Do any states have event data recorder laws?
Yes. As of 2020, there were 17 states with EDR laws. Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington all had statutes relating to event data recorders, privacy and ownership.
Who can benefit from accident investigation and crash data retrieval?

Almost anyone who has been in an accident. This includes drivers or passengers who sustained property loss or injury during a crash. Crash data retrieval and accident reconstruction can also benefit legal counsel (both civil and criminal), insurance companies, car rental agencies, municipalities, or government agencies.

What is the difference between accident investigation and accident reconstruction?

Accident investigation is a series of technical methods used to gather information and data about a traffic accident. Accident reconstruction is the analysis of that information and data to accurately explain what happened just prior to, during and just after an accident.

What determines who is responsible in an automobile accident?

Figuring out who is at fault in a traffic accident is a matter of identifying the driver(s) that acted carelessly, or even recklessly. The Illinois Vehicle Code (IVC) dictates how drivers are to operate their vehicles on the roadway. The IVC also applies to motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians. Sometimes a violation of the IVC is obvious and is clearly defined as the cause of the accident. For example, when one driver runs a red light and crashes into another. In other situations, a violation of the IVC is less obvious. Crash Data Services, LLC has proficient knowledge of the IVC and can help identify the cause(s) of an accident with our services.

Why is crash data retrieval (CDR) useful during accident investigation?

Certified CDR technicians/analysts can apply crash data retrieval to objectively evaluate and describe the events prior to, during and immediately after a crash. The technique is accurate and precise, often supplying information that would otherwise be completely unobtainable with traditional investigative measures.

Why hire an expert accident reconstructionist from Crash Data Services, LLC?

Our experts are often retained for the purpose of identifying the causation and contributing factors in different types of collisions, including the role of the driver(s), vehicle(s), and roadway conditions. We employ peer reviewed and validated methodologies based on the laws of physics, such as the conservation of linear momentum, work-energy methods, and occupant kinematics to explain traffic crashes. Our reports, while technical in nature, are written in a clear and concise fashion. For case specific questions, please contact us.

Is event data recorder information admissible in court?

Yes. Regardless of state, EDR data has been consistently accepted in criminal prosecutions and civil litigation. In many states, including Illinois, EDR data has been tested and found to meet the Frye standard for admissibility (Illinois App. Ct., 4th Dist., No. 4-01-0237, Appeal from Circuit Court of Woodford County, Case No. 98L21 – 2002).

Do any event data recorders store the date, time, or location of an accident?

Very rarely. While many vehicles have the ability to monitor the date, time and their location through onboard navigation systems or global positioning systems, very few EDRs are currently configured to record information about their physical location, the date, or the time when involved in a crash.

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