Do Big Trucks Really Have “Black Boxes”?
A black box is a device in a vehicle that records information, which can be used to monitor vehicle performance or determine the cause of an accident. Large commercial trucks have data recorders that check for information about the vehicle. The most common type is an electronic control module (ECM). Some large trucks have event data recorders more like a black box in an airplane. Both types of systems are often referred to as black boxes.
What Types of Information Is Recorded by a Truck’s Black Box?
A truck’s black box can provide a wealth of data about the operation of the rig and actions of the driver. Available data may include:
- GPS location of the crash
- Speed the truck was traveling
- Whether the driver was using cruise control
- Whether the driver was braking or accelerating when the collision occurred
- Whether the trucker was changing lanes (determined by flashers and truck direction)
- Tire pressure and tire failure
- Whether the driver was turning or braking
- How long the truck was in continuous operation
- Sudden acceleration immediately before or after the crash
- Impact of the collision
How Can Black Box Data Help Your Claim?
Our experienced Phoenix personal injury attorneys can tell a lot about how a truck accident occurred from black box data. For example:
- We can tell if a trucker was speeding or failed to brake to avoid hitting the vehicle in front.
- We can use black box data as evidence of an unsafe lane change, when a truck driver switched lanes without thoroughly checking blind spots to ensure the path was clear.
- We can use data from the black box to show that truck brake or equipment failure contributed to or caused the crash.
- We can use the measure of the impact of the collision taken from the black box to support claims of severe injuries.
After a serious collision involving a big rig, our Phoenix truck accident lawyers use data from the truck’s black box to build a strong case and fight for the compensation you deserve.
How Can Your Truck Accident Lawyer Help You Retrieve Black Box Information?
It is crucial in a truck accident case that the truck’s black box data be preserved until an expert can download it. Trucking companies may destroy or write over data on these devices unless you act quickly to preserve it. Typically, truck black boxes record data for 30 days and then begin writing over the previous information. Important evidence can be lost when there is no attorney involved to force the trucking company to preserve it.
Your truck accident attorney will need to send a preservation of evidence letter informing the trucking company that the black box data may be used in litigation to prevent the company from destroying or tampering with the evidence. Should the trucking company fail to preserve the evidence, it could be subject to court-imposed penalties, fines, and sanctions.
Why Choose Us?
The Husband & Wife Law Team practices only personal injury and wrongful death law. Mark Breyer is a certified specialist in injury and wrongful death law – a designation earned by less than 2% of lawyers in Arizona. Our legal team is dedicated to helping injured people throughout Arizona, and we will fight tooth and nail with the insurance company for a fair settlement. We win or settle 98% of our cases.
If you have been seriously injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident, call us today at (602) 457-6222 to schedule a free consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis – you pay us no fees until we recover compensation for you.
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During a free consultation, we will look at the important aspects of your case, answer your questions, and explain your legal rights and options clearly. All submissions are confidentially reviewed by Mark Breyer.
Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer