Why Is the Black Box Important in Truck Accidents?

A black box is a device found in many motor vehicles, such as cars and commercial trucks, as well as in some aircraft. It records a range of data just before an accident. Securing the black box, also referred to as an event data recorder, after a truck accident is critical so the information it contains can be reviewed to determine whether the truck driver’s actions contributed to the crash.

Collisions involving commercial trucks are often catastrophic. Even low-speed crashes can cause massive property damage and debilitating injuries. The significant size difference between a truck and a passenger car increases the risk of harm to the occupants of the smaller vehicle. You could pursue compensation from the truck driver if they were at fault for the crash. However, adequate evidence to prove liability is required.

What Is a Black Box?

Installing an event data recorder in commercial trucks is not a legal requirement. Some motor carriers might decide to install these devices in their fleet of vehicles to review information regarding their truck drivers’ trips. The data shows specific information leading up to an accident, including the trucker’s actions.

The data recorded by a black box depends on the manufacturer, but many include this information:

  • Whether the truck driver wore their seat belt
  • The speed of the truck right before the crash
  • Tire pressure
  • Whether the airbags deployed in the accident
  • How many times the vehicle was involved in a crash, and how long between those incidents
  • The speed the truck was traveling in the seconds before the collision occurred
  • Whether the driver was using cruise control
  • The number of hard stops made in the truck, including the RPM between each stop
  • Whether the truck driver applied their brakes
  • Data showing whether the trucker violated any federal regulations, such as exceeding the maximum number of driving hours allowed in a shift
  • Daily or monthly activity for the truck
  • GPS information to determine the location of the vehicle
  • Communication between the truck driver and their employer, such as emails discussing driver fatigue, mechanical problems, and additional relevant information
  • The frequency of the trucker driving above a predetermined speed limit

Besides reviewing the information in the event data recorder, the truck driver’s logbook could also provide details about what happened before the crash.

For example, truckers are supposed to log the number of hours they drive, how much time they spend off duty, and the number of breaks they take during a twenty-four-hour period. Obtaining the black box and logbook could prove that the truck driver should be liable for an injured person’s medical care and other losses.

Why It’s Important to Preserve the Black Box

Many new event data recorder models will store data for as long as four weeks before recording over the data with new information. However, an old model might record over the data in as little as a few days. There’s no way to know the type of model in the truck involved in the accident you were in. Additionally, some trucking companies might alter the data or destroy the device entirely to get rid of evidence that their truck driver caused a crash. So, securing the black box as soon as possible is crucial.

You should hire an experienced truck accident lawyer to assist you with the process of securing the event data recorder information. Your lawyer can send the motor carrier a letter to notify them of the impending legal action and request that they preserve any evidence related to the collision, including the black box.

While investigating the circumstances of the crash, your legal team can review the data stored in the event data recorder to determine whether the truck driver’s action caused the accident.

If the information shows the trucker exceeded the maximum driving limit, it could indicate they were tired and maybe fell asleep at the wheel. If the black box data shows the truck driver was speeding right before the collision, that could prove their reckless behavior resulted in your injuries.

Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer

If you were involved in a truck accident due to the truck driver’s negligent actions, you should contact the Law Office of William J. Luse, Inc. Accident & Injury Lawyers immediately. We are familiar with cases like yours and the strategies that can be used to prove someone else should be held responsible for the harm you suffered.

When you hire us, we will use our extensive resources to gather all available evidence, including the event data recorder, to show that your injuries resulted from the truck accident. We can file a claim on your behalf and negotiate an adequate settlement with the insurance company or take your case to court if necessary.

Call the Law Office of William J. Luse, Inc. Accident & Injury Lawyers at (843) 839-4795 today if you suffered injuries in a truck accident in Myrtle Beach. One of our truck accident lawyers can meet you for a free consultation to discuss your case and advise you about your legal options for pursuing compensation from the at-fault party.

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