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Crash Investigators Use Data From Cars' Black Boxes

Just a decade ago, detectives investigating traffic accidents would analyze skid marks with tape measures, rulers and special wheels. Now they use lasers and computer analyses that measure and map the split-second anatomy of a crash. And, like their counterparts in aviation circles, they are turning to black boxes -- event data recorders that carmakers have tucked into millions of vehicles. The recorders can reveal the speed, braking and throttle of vehicles in the seconds before impact.

Car-Crash Investigators Partner With Computers 'Black Box,' Washington Post, July 3, 2005.