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Why black box data is important after truck crashes

On Behalf of | Jul 5, 2024 | Truck Accidents |

Truck crashes often result in severe injuries, extensive property damage and complex legal cases. Data from a truck’s black box can be consequential when it comes to resolving insurance disputes and lawsuits. 

Also known as an Event Data Recorder (EDR), this device captures information about the vehicle’s operation and the moments leading up to a crash. Black box data provides a detailed account of the truck’s operation before, during and after a collision. This information includes:

  • Speed: The truck’s speed at the time of the crash and just before it
  • Braking: Data on whether and when the brakes were applied
  • Engine performance: Information on engine RPMs and throttle position
  • Driver inputs: Details on steering inputs and other driver actions

By analyzing this data, investigators can reconstruct events leading up to an accident, providing a clearer understanding of how a crash occurred and whether the truck’s driver took appropriate action to avoid it.

Determining fault and compensation owed

Establishing fault in truck accidents is almost always a complex undertaking, partially because these cases tend to involve multiple parties, including a truck driver, the trucking company that employs the driver at issue and other motorists. 

Black box data can play a consequential role in determining liability by providing objective evidence of the truck’s operation. For instance, if the data shows that the truck was speeding or that the driver failed to brake appropriately, it can support claims of driver negligence. 

Additionally, trucking companies are subject to strict regulations regarding vehicle maintenance, driver hours and operational safety. Black box data can reveal compliance or violations of these regulations. For instance, if the data shows that the driver exceeded federally mandated hours of service, it could indicate that fatigue played a role in the crash. 

This data can be used in court to demonstrate the circumstances of the crash, thereby strengthening the injured party’s case for damages. Moreover, it can also counter false claims and defenses, better ensuring a fair and just resolution.

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