An accurate record of the events preceding a traffic accident is useful to trucking companies, car rental agencies, commercial carriers, and insurance providers, as well as to passenger car drivers. A video and data recording is very helpful for accurate accident reconstruction. We have made a prototype of a “personal eye witness”: a small video camera with solid state memory and a short recording time. The camera records continuously until it senses an accident, then it saves a video record of the events surrounding the accident in time. Since video is available from both before and after the collision, accident reconstruction becomes easier. The camera uses only solid state memory with no moving parts, can be manufactured inexpensively, and can be packaged in a crash-resistant and tamper-resistant module. Automobile data can be added as sideband data or overlaid text to the video data storage path.