The Hidden Forensics of Crash Data Retrieval

How Donan’s Crash Data Retrieval Process Can Tell You What Really  Happened


Most passenger vehicles on the road today contain on-board systems capable of recording information when an accident occurs. When the vehicle’s air bags are deployed, the crash data is saved on the airbag control module. If the airbags do not deploy, the crash data may or may not be saved to the airbag control module depending on the severity of the impact. This stored information can be invaluable for confirming details related to the accident and for investigating reported equipment malfunctions.

Are you taking full advantage of CDR capabilities in vehicle accident investigations? Download a Donan CDR case study that demonstrates crash data retrieved following an accident.

What exactly is Crash Data Retrieval?

During normal operation, a vehicle’s airbag control module monitors data from numerous sensors throughout the car. When an impact of sufficient magnitude is detected, the system triggers the airbags to deploy and saves the information from various sensors onto the control module. In order to recover the stored crash data after an accident, specialized equipment is connected either to the vehicle’s on-board diagnostic (OBD) connector or directly to the airbag control modules.

A few potential examples of how stored crash data is useful:

Two men arguing about damaged cars

  • Investigate reported braking actions
  • Determine if seat-belts are engaged at the time of impact
  • Determine vehicle odometer mileage at time of impact
  • Identify whether any diagnostic trouble codes were present at time of impact
  • Determine if cruise control was in use prior to impact
  • Determine if the vehicle was involved in prior accidents
  • Preserve data for any future accident reconstruction

Benefits of using Donan for Crash Data Retrieval: 

  • Ease of Use – Donan manages the entire crash data retrieval process, from project acceptance to storage of evidence. Contact us once the accident occurs and we will coordinate the shipping of the module to our laboratory and then send you a PDF of the module’s recorded crash data.
  • Expedited Processing – We are able to image and email crash data within 3 business days of receiving the module.
  • Storage – After imaging the crash data from the module, Donan can securely store the module, or ship it to you directly.


Download CDR Infographic

Crash Data

Share this Post