Crash Data Retrieval System

The Accident Investigation District (AID) is responsible for investigating critical injury and fatal crashes. In 2014, AID investigated over 2,250 of the 53,000 reported crashes in Philadelphia.

The Department has requested the Foundation’s assistance in raising $15,000 for the purchase of a Crash Data Retrieval system (CDR) and training for 10 investigators.

The CDR is a combination of computer hardware and software that enables accident investigators to retrieve, download, and print information recorded in a vehicle’s airbag and power train control module for activity which transpired during a crash. This key data is recorded on a vehicle’s Event Data Recorder (EDR). The EDR also documents seatbelt usage, engine rpm, brake system activation, and vehicle speed.

With EDR information analyzed by the CDR, the Department’s crash reconstructionists can calculate impact speeds and have those speeds validated by electronically recorded data. This back-up accuracy would eliminate any claim in court that the speed estimates produced by the AID officer were incorrect or invalid.

At present, the AID has to rely on the Pennsylvania State Police to extract and interpret information retrieved from a serious accident scene. The purchase of a CDR system for Philadelphia’s AID investigators would keep the officers current with the rapidly changing technology of crash investigations while allowing AID to minimize their reliance on the availability of State Police equipment.