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Car data recorder will aid in Woods crash probe

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The event data recorder, sometimes known as a ‘black box’, will help investigators determine what happened when Tiger Woods crashed his car. (Feb. 25)

Video Transcript

TOM KRISHER: The event data recorders. They're in pretty much every car that's on the road now. They're still not required by the federal government but there are regulations that if you have them you have to record certain things that happen in a crash, like speed and whether the seat belts are fastened, whether the airbags deployed. They also record, like, lateral acceleration and forward-backward acceleration.

And those are very helpful to investigators when they're looking into crashes. They can make mathematical calculations based on a lot of this information and determine how many times a vehicle rolled over, at what force it rolled over. There's all kinds of different things. And they'll be using that in this Tiger Woods case to try to make the determinations. They'll know whether he stepped on the brake, whether he still had his foot on the accelerator, and when he took it off. How far before impact. Those kinds of things.

He was driving a courtesy car for the golf tournament from Genesis, which is Hyundai's luxury brand. And it's a 2021 model. It's likely to have a very advanced version of this. And that's where it gets a little crazy. Newer vehicles like this one have systems on them that automatically brake for objects that are in the way. They have radar, they have cameras. Some of them even store pictures before a crash. And we don't know-- Genesis won't tell us exactly what the recorder in this SUV stored, but the experts that I talked to are saying that it's likely that it has a lot more information than the early versions of these black boxes. So there's a lot there and a lot for investigators to look at.

Case with this Hyundai, it has a-- kind of a unique feature. A center airbag that would come out between the driver and the passenger. And it's very helpful in a rollover crash because it would prevent the driver from hitting the center console or something else in the vehicle. It would kind of shield them from that and it would tell you whether that went off. It also tells you lateral acceleration. They can calculate how many times the vehicle rolled because-- you know, using that.