You Found the Truck’s Black Box After an Accident, What’s Next?
Black boxes are popularly known to help authorities recreate the final moments before a plane crash. But did you know that the same can be done with trucks?
It might not be common knowledge, but most trucks fabricated after 1997 have black boxes integrated into them. With that said, if your truck gets involved in an accident, the data collected will help you and your lawyer strengthen your personal injury claim from an insurance company.
Because of the worrying quantities of manipulation from truck companies in accident liability discussions, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) ruled that large commercial vehicles such as trucks and tankers carry a black box or Event Data Recorder (EDR). This is required to record driver and vehicle data for review in case of an accident.
We outlined the key factors on why recovering the truck’s black box data after an accident will help you gather evidence to prove and strengthen your case.
What is a Truck’s Black Box?
Known as Event Data Recorders (EDR), or Electronic Control Modules (ECM), these devices record key data from the vehicle; not only in case of an accident but for the better monitoring of the truck driver and the trucking company.
Some auto black boxes trigger a recording when an accident occurs and they log just key data from seconds before the crash. While others make recordings of all data instances from the moment the driver starts the vehicle to the moment they turn it off. The former are the most common types of black boxes as they record the critical moments before the truck accident.
What is Recorded in the Truck’s Black Box?
As per the definition of the NHTSA, black boxes are devices that record technical information about the vehicle, driver, and passengers before, during, or after a crash. EDRs may record data such as:
- Pre-crash vehicle dynamics
- Systems status
- Driver inputs
- Vehicle crash signatures
- Restraint/usage and deployment status
- Post-crash data like activation of automatic collision notification systems
While this data might be difficult to interpret for a layman, it is critical for your truck accident lawyer so they can create a timeline of the case and help you hold the liable parties responsible for your damages.
Information from the black box can be downloaded and interpreted by specialists in the event of an accident or fleet management purposes from commercial trucking companies. For most commercial trucks, this electronic logging device can download data such as:
- Speed history
- RPM history (excessive RPMs)
- Heavy breaking
- Speed limit
- Hours of service rules
- Vehicle performance
- Fast accelerations
- Accident Reports
- Driver IDs
- Fuel consumption
- Seat belt usage
- Driving time
Like in-car computers, airbag deployment is also recorded. In addition, commercial vehicles include a global position system (GPS), which is used for this data to be transferred constantly to the truck’s home base.
Why is the Black Box Data Important for Your Truck Accident Claim?
Data recorded by the truck’s black box can be used as admissible evidence in court. It will be used by your truck accident attorney in establishing:
- Why the accident happened
- The magnitude of an accident
- The contradicting testimony against recorded facts
- If you were hit with enough force to cause injury
- The magnitude of the accident in the case of wrongful death
It is imperative for you and your experienced truck accident attorney to get ahold of the truck’s black box evidence as quickly as possible. It is common for trucking companies to tamper with the black boxes to protect their business and deny the liability of their drivers, not to mention lower your financial compensation.
As you can see, the black box is an important element in your claim because it is based on pure science and concrete evidence. It cannot be tampered with if you and your legal team act quickly to secure what is recorded in it.
Trucks are some of the most dangerous vehicles on the road, but with the crucial evidence from the black box at hand, you will have verifiable proof that you weren’t at fault and were the victim of negligent conduct by a truck driver. By analyzing the black box, your truck accident lawyers will be able to hold those really at fault responsible.
Injured in a Truck Accident? Call us today!
Farahi Law Firm has an expert team of lawyers, medical professionals, and case managers. When we get a client injured in a truck accident, we’ll hunt down the culprits and preserve as much evidence as possible to win fair compensation for you. Truck’s black boxes are no exemption to this. We assure you that we will move quickly to strengthen your claim and hold the ones responsible for your injuries and property damage accountable.
You don’t have to worry about costs; we work on a no-win-no-fee basis — meaning you don’t have to pay us anything until we win your case.