Road Crash Expert Goes Hi-tech With Exclusive Kit
Bruce Wilson is on a mission to give Kiwis a “fair go” and reduce death and serious injury on New Zealand roads, thanks to a Bosch Crash Data Retrieval (CDR) kit that downloads extensive data from a car's computer, proving what happened, without bias, and ultimately aiming to prevent similar crashes.
As one of New Zealand’s leading crash analysts, Wilson has investigated over 1,000 crashes over his career and wants to use his knowledge to keep Kiwis safe and help prevent unfair driving prosecutions.
“The best thing about having a Bosch CDR kit is that it removes human bias from car crashes. From some of the cases I’ve dealt with, people would have been incorrectly prosecuted based on things like inaccurate witness statements but getting data from a kit like this proved they did something different to what was believed to have occurred,” said Wilson.
“It’s well known that eye-witnesses aren’t always accurate so it’s important we have data that isn’t biased to prove what did or didn’t happen,” he added.
The Kapiti-based crash investigator is believed to be the only private operator to have a CDR kit in New Zealand, as they’re reserved for law enforcement and those who are appropriately trained.
“They are very hard kits to come by as you have to prove you have adequate training. But getting the data is only part of the puzzle,” he says, “you also need to know how to interpret that data and provide a full picture of the circumstances leading up to the collision and that’s what my aim is with any crash.”
Wilson says this kit could be used after a collision to defend a driving charge, prove liability, or simply help companies like insurers and rental car companies.
“This kit can download data up to 10 seconds prior to a crash and measure speed, throttle, brakes, steering angle, engine RPM and other parameters. This allows us to determine more factually what actually occurred and determine the root cause of the crash,” explained Wilson.
“A lot of people don’t realise how much data their vehicles hold about their habits. Some people have told me it’s scary but I think that it is the opposite. If you have good driving habits, you have nothing to worry about. All this kit will do is help prove your innocence if something unfortunate happens,” he said.
Most vehicles in New Zealand are compatible with the Bosch CDR kit and can be used in a myriad of ways after a collision.
In 2020, Wilson started Forensic Crash Consultancy, to provide analysis and education services to drivers, companies and insurers around Aotearoa, ultimately aiming to reduce New Zealand’s road toll.