According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 3,986 people died in large truck crashes in 2016 alone. When seeking compensation for an injury or wrongful death sustained in a truck accident, it can be crucial to establish what the truck driver was doing at the time of, and right before the accident. The “black box” inside a truck can be a crucial piece of evidence that contains important information.
What is a Black Box?
A black box, also known as an electronic control module (ECM), is similar to those found on airplanes. These devices can record data about what occurred with a truck right before or during an accident. ECM technology has advanced, and black boxes are now able to record a great deal of information about what is happening with the truck. The ECM records data including:
- How long the truck had been in service
- Whether the driver was wearing a seatbelt
- GPS location at the time of the accident
- Tire pressure of the truck
- Average speed the truck was traveling
- Highest speed traveled
- Number of hard stops taken by the truck
- Whether the driver hit the brakes before impact
A black box recorder can provide some information about what the driver was doing right before impact. For example, if the driver did not hit the brake right before the accident, it’s possible that he was distracted, intoxicated, or fell asleep and was not watching the road. Information about the speed a truck was traveling can demonstrate whether the driver was driving at an unsafe speed at the time of the accident.
The black box can also show information that may not be as apparent. For example, if the black box shows that the truck was in use for an excessive amount of time, it could demonstrate that the driver was operating longer than the allowable number of hours. This could show that it may be the trucking company who was responsible for overworking their driver.
A black box is installed on a truck by the truck’s manufacturer and is the property of the truck’s owner. After an accident, at-fault party may attempt to remove the black box, repair the truck, or remove the data from the device to conceal non-compliance. That’s why if you’ve been in a truck accident, it is crucial that you consult with an attorney as soon as possible so that this information can be obtained quickly.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, you need a personal injury attorney to evaluate your case. Contact the lawyers at Alpert Schreyer, LLC online or call us at 844-632-7274 for a free consultation.