Tractor Trailer’s Black Box is Key to Accident Claim


June 12, 2015

Close to 4,000 people were killed in large truck accidents in 2012 and another 104,000 injured, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  Although many truck drivers are safe and law-abiding drivers, fatal crashes involving large trucks are on the rise and all road users are at risk. If you have been involved in a truck accident, it is vital that you retain an attorney to act as quickly as possible to secure the black box, or recorder, data from the truck involved. In recent years, it is become standard in the industry to equip trucks with a black box or event data recorder (EDR). Following a highly publicized tractor trailer accident last year involving a famous comedian and the death of his passenger, there has reportedly been an increased push towards requiring that all commercial trucks be equipped with black boxes. It is also important that this black box data be retrieved as soon as possible after the truck accident, as the information contained therein can substantially help your case.

What is a Black Box or Event Data Recorder?

An EDR is a device that stores data as to the physical properties of the vehicle that is involved in an event, which can include any accident or near-accident. The following information, among other things, are commonly stored on a black box and can be downloaded in the event of an accident:

  • Speed history
  • Heavy braking
  • Excessive RPM
  • Hours driven
  • Location
  • Idle time
  • Driver identification
  • Speed exceptions
  • Movement summary
  • Fuel consumption
  • Fast accelerations
  • Seating driving time limits

Some black boxes can even have information as to whether the seatbelt was worn or whether the airbag was deployed.  Black boxes are similar to the flight data recorder used in airplanes since the 1990's and are becoming increasingly common in passenger motor vehicles due to the significant assistance and information they provide in the event of a crash. The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended that trucks be equipped with EDR's since 1997, but it has not been made mandatory despite numerous safety experts and lawmakers recommending to do so.

The Importance of Preserving Black Box Data

Black box evidence will generally be admissible at trial. This data can also provide evidence that corroborates the accident victim's version of events, thereby strengthening the case. In some truck accident cases, the theory of liability will rest heavily on this crucial black box data, which can reveal anything from the driver speeding or driving while fatigued, to a truck defect or mechanical failure. The importance of properly securing this data cannot be overemphasized and the sooner you contact a truck accident attorney, the sooner you can ensure this data is gathered.

Put Our Law Firm's Over 30 Years of Legal Experience to Work For Your Case!

The Atlanta Truck Accident Lawyers at Montlick & Associates have made it their goal to be the top personal injury law firm in the United States. In fact, Montlick & Associates has been successfully representing those who suffer serious injuries from trucking related accidents throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over thirty years, including but not limited to all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.

No matter where you are located, our attorneys are just a phone call away and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You also can visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.


Source:
http://cdn2.hubspot.net/hub/45635/docs/mea_event_data_recorders_David_King.pdf?t=1423781143019

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/citing-tracy-morgan-accident-sen-schumer-pushes-black-boxes-trucks-article-1.1831158

http://www.metrocorpcounsel.com/articles/13396/trucks-black-box-key-accident-litigation

 

Category: Truck Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.