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‘Black box’ in Tiger Woods’s SUV could yield clues to cause of wreck

The SUV Tiger Woods was driving Monday was totaled in a rollover accident.
The SUV Tiger Woods was driving Monday was totaled in a rollover accident.David McNew/Photographer: David McNew/Getty

DETROIT — Investigators who are looking into the rollover crash that injured golf legend Tiger Woods will rely heavily on data stored in the Genesis SUV he was driving to figure out what happened.

The 2021 GV80, made by the Hyundai luxury brand, is likely to have a newer version of event data recorders nicknamed “black boxes” after more sophisticated recorders in airplanes. They store a treasure trove of data for authorities to review.

There aren’t any US regulations requiring the boxes, but the government does require the recorders to store 15 data points, including speed before impact and whether brake and gas pedals were pressed.

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The regulations don't cover new partially automated systems that can control speed, brake, and steer cars on freeways, and they don't address cameras and radar used in those systems. But some vehicles store some of the new systems' data.

Woods suffered a serious leg injury when the SUV he was driving went off a Los Angeles County road and rolled over on a downhill stretch known for crashes. The county sheriff said Woods was not drunk and was driving alone in good weather when the SUV hit a raised median, went across oncoming lanes and rolled several times. The crash injured his right leg, requiring surgery.

It’s not clear how much of the crash Woods recalls, but the black box data should be able to fill in gaps.