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18 wheeler accident

What to Know About Commercial Truck Black Boxes

By August 5, 2019May 23rd, 2024No Comments

Commercial truck black boxes are fairly similar to the black boxes used in airplanes.  These recording devices are essential to determine what, exactly, happened in the truck accident, when it happened and why it happened.  Though a commercial truck’s black box is not guaranteed to reveal exactly what happened down to the very last detail, it is an important piece of evidence that can help piece together the puzzle of legal liability.


The Basics of Truck Black Boxes

Black boxes, also referred to as event data recorders or electronic control modules, were first installed in commercial trucks back in the 1990s.  The initial purpose of adding a black box to trucks was to combat warranty claims. The black box contains important data about the truck’s physical properties during events such as crashes.  In fact, some national and regional trucking businesses go as far as using trip recorders or satellite tracking equipment to monitor company trucks. The electronic data gleaned from black boxes, trip recorders and satellite tracking equipment really does have the potential to make or break your case.


Helpful Information Provided by Trucks’ Black Boxes

Black boxes are the primary source of data for commercial trucks.  Aside from recording information about the vehicle, this box can also record data about trips and location prior to crashes.  The data obtained from this device ultimately differs based on each unique truck engine manufacturer. Commercial truck black boxes reveal information about the truck’s speed ahead of the crash, if and when the brakes are applied, if there was rapid acceleration or deceleration and if the truck driver used cruise control.  The black box also provides details about the truck’s daily and monthly activity.

If the truck driver truly acted in every possible way to prevent the crash, the black box will corroborate his or her statement.  Otherwise, the black box will serve as a valuable piece of evidence to prove your innocence and obtain the compensation you desperately need after this unfortunate event.  The key to obtaining justice is to have a hardworking attorney in your corner willing to uncover every last piece of evidence and fiercely advocate on your behalf.


Safety Information Revealed by Truck Black Boxes

Modern day truck black boxes even go as far as detailing whether the vehicle was driven in excess of a predetermined speed limit such as 65 MPH.  The black box reveals if the air bag was deployed, whether the truck driver wore a seat belt, the tire pressure, the RPM between stops, the number of sudden stops and tire pressure.  Commercial truck black box technology is so advanced it can even record the number of times the vehicle was involved in an accident and the time lapsed between those crashes.

Most people are surprised to learn black boxes record communications between the truck driver and his or her employer including emails with a treasure trove of information.  Black box information often reveals the truck driver’s fatigue, mechanical issues with the vehicle and so on. The data pulled from the truck’s black box will be compared to the truck driver’s log to gauge if the truck is in violation of regulations pertaining to the hours-of-service drivers are allowed to put in before taking a break.


Time is of the Essence

If you are involved in a truck accident, it is imperative you meet with an attorney as soon as possible.  The vast majority of truck black boxes record data for merely 30 days before the data is subsequently recorded over.  However, aged trucks will likely record over such data in a shorter period of time. There is also the potential for trucking businesses to intentionally destroy data stored on black boxes.  This is precisely why you need the assistance of a proven truck accident attorney. Meet with our legal team as soon as possible so we can get the ball rolling on your time-sensitive truck accident claim.

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