When a commercial airliner crashes or has in-flight problems, investigators often glean valuable information from the vessel’s flight data recorder, commonly called the black box. If you have a serious accident involving a semitruck, you should know many of these vehicles also have black boxes.
Following any traffic accident, it is important to understand both why the crash happened and who caused it. The truck’s black box may give you important answers to these critical questions.
Answering relevant questions
The truck’s event data recorder automatically records information about the truck’s operation and maintenance. Among other matters, the black box may help you determine the following:
- Whether the truck was speeding or moving erratically at the time of the collision
- Whether the driver had sufficient resting hours before climbing behind the wheel
- Whether the driver applied brakes or took evasive action to avoid the accident
Assigning blame for the accident
While a collision with any type of vehicle may leave you with serious injuries, the size and weight of commercial vehicles often make them hazardous. Consequently, commercial vehicles and their drivers must comply with a complex set of federal regulations. The truck’s black box may reveal whether the truck’s owner and its driver met these obligations. If they did not, they may have either caused or contributed to the collision.
Preserving black box data
Preserving black box data is essential for two key reasons. First, the black box typically only stores data for 30 days. More importantly, truck owners can usually delete or overwrite information. If you fear the truck’s data may disappear, you can take steps to preserve evidence. If sending the truck’s owner a letter does not work, you may need to ask a judge to order the owner to maintain black box data.
Recovering from a semitruck-related accident may leave you with mounting medical debt. Fortunately, if you can preserve and access black box data, you may have an easier time pursuing fair compensation from the driver who caused your injuries.