Every year thousands of people are killed in accidents with large trucks. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 3,986 people died in large truck crashes in 2016 alone. When seeking compensation for an injury or death sustained in a truck accident, it is crucial to establish what the truck driver was doing at the time of, and right before the accident. A truck’s “black box” can be a crucial piece of evidence that contains much of this information.
What is a black box?
A black box, also known as an electronic control module (ECM), is similar to the black boxes found on airplanes. These devices can record data about what occurred right before or during an accident. ECM technology has advanced, and black boxes are now able to record a great deal of information about what is happening with the truck. The ECM records data including:
- Whether the driver was wearing a seatbelt
- How long the truck had been in service
- GPS location at the time of the accident
- Tire pressure
- Average speed
- Highest speed
- Number of hard stops
- Whether the driver braked before impact
How does a black box help reconstruct the accident?
A black box recorder can provide some information about what the driver was doing right before impact. For example, if the driver did not hit the brake right before the accident, it’s possible that he was sleeping, intoxicated, or simply distracted and not watching the road. Information about the speed of the vehicle can demonstrate that the driver was driving at a reckless and unsafe speed at the time of the accident.
The black box can show information that may not be as obvious. For example, if the black box shows that the vehicle was in use for an excessive amount of time, it could demonstrate that the driver was operating longer than the number of hours allowed. In that case, it could be the trucking company who was responsible for overworking the driver.
Obtaining Black Box Information
A black box is installed on a truck by the manufacturer and is the property of the owner of the truck. An at-fault party may attempt to remove the black box, repair the truck, or remove the data from the device to conceal non-compliance. That’s why if you’ve been in a truck accident, it is crucial that you consult with an attorney as soon as possible so that this information can be quickly obtained.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping injured New Yorkers. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español