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Truck Accidents & Black Box Data


In an effort to improve trucking safety, more big rigs around the country have black boxes installed. These boxes are really data collection systems, which can go by different names. In many truck accident cases, the black box provides critical evidence. It can help bolster your claim that a driver is to blame for the accident and disprove any defenses claimed by truckers and their employers.

What Information the Black Box Tracks

Black box systems vary a little bit about the information they collect.  Some will record continuously while others might only record crash-like information, such as sudden and hard braking. Many black boxes record information about the vehicle, such as oil levels and tire pressure.

Regardless of the differences, many black boxes pick up vital information about what happened in the moments before a collision. For example, you might be able to pull the following information:

  • The truck’s location and the direction where it was heading
  • The truck’s speed
  • Whether the driver hit the brakes before the accident
  • If the driver had cruise control on
  • Whether there was any rapid deceleration or hard braking

Interesting, many trucking companies like having black boxes installed since they allow them to monitor their drivers. It is only when a trucker collides with an innocent motorist or pedestrian that trucking companies try to hide this information.

How the Black Box Information Can Help You

This information is vital in many cases, because truck drivers and trucking companies do not make it a habit of admitting mistakes. Instead, they vigorously defend against any truck accident claims.

For example, you might have been struck by a tired driver. Nevertheless, the driver insists they followed the federal regulations on sleep. These rules limit drivers to the number of hours they can drive in a week in the hopes of limiting fatigued driving. It would be enormously helpful to your case to find data on the black box showing the truck was in operation for more hours than are allowed under the regulations. In the days of paper logs, it was very easy for trucking companies to falsify this information.

A truck driver might also claim that he never saw the motorist that he struck. But the black box might show that the driver braked hard, which indicates he did see the motorist.

Obtaining the Black Box Information

Soon after an accident, your lawyer should send a letter to the trucking company asking them to preserve any evidence related to the crash, including black box information. In many situations, black box information either disappears or gets recorded over, so you need to act fast.

Speak to an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer in Delray Beach

If you have suffered an accident with a commercial big rig, you must move fast before critical evidence disappears. At Earnhart Law in Delray Beach, we are prepared to do everything possible to help you after a devastating crash, but we must hear from you first.

Please call 561-265-2220 to schedule your free, confidential consultation. Please do not delay.

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