The black box is now mandatory in new cars

The production of new vehicles is struggling on the French market, in particular due to a lack of parts and materials. However, from this month of May, manufacturers will also have the obligation to integrate new equipment into their models.

New mandatory safety equipment

Among them, the Black Box is the most emblematic. As in airplanes, this is intended to record vehicle data when an accident occurs, in particular: speed, braking, whether or not seat belts are worn, whether or not safety elements are activated, whether or not the headlights are on, but also the actual CO2 emission rates.

The accident recorder thus integrates the long list of driver assistance systems (Adas), a certain number of which will be or are already mandatory for safety purposes (line crossing warning devices, emergency gearing, drowsiness warning device, reversing radars, etc.).

Two concomitant objectives are pursued by this new regulation: to elucidate more easily the causes of claims (for this, the black box can record the data of the vehicle up to 30 seconds before the accident) and thus compensate road victims more quickly.

For these purposes, the box cannot be removed and will be self-powered. The recorded data can only be used by the police to determine the causes of a traffic accident, but their consultation and long-term storage already raise questions.

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An effective measure against road fatalities?

Added to this is the question of the effectiveness of the measure. In the United States, for example, the recorders exist since 2006, and the authorities have measured a decreasee of 20% of accidents since five years. knowing “monitored” by their car, motorists would indeed tend to be more vigilant.

The problem is that the device still suffers from some blind spots. The black box cannot determine, for example, whether the driver was intoxicated or on the phone at the time of the accident. However, these two circumstances are found in a large number of accidents.

Another concern is that of the interpretation of the data collected. As the air crashes show, the reading of the information contained in the recorder does not always give rise to a unanimous analysis on the part of the experts. It is for this reason that some are proposing to go further by also equipping new vehicles with “dashcams” which would record the accident on video from the passenger compartment.

What impact on my auto insurance?

On the insurance side, it is the question of the impact of this obligation on contributions that will arise in the coming months. On the one hand, the installation of this equipment will further increase the price of new vehicles. However, as we know, a car fleet that is moving upmarket and is also increasingly expensive to insure, which has led to a 16% increase in car premiums over the past ten years.

In terms of cost, the price of black boxes will be borne by manufacturers for new vehicles. On the other hand, from 2024, it will also be necessary to equip all vehicles already on the market. Motorists will therefore have to pay a hundred euros to acquire the box (not including the cost of installation).

However, as insurers know, the primary objective remains, in the long term, a reduction in automobile claims (-20% expected). However, if insurance companies end up having fewer claims to compensate, a drop in contributions should logically follow over time.

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