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How Data From a Truck's "Black Box" Exhibits Driver Negligence

Author: Portner & Shure

How Data From a Truck’s “Black Box” Exhibits Driver Negligence

Following a truck accident, there are various ways to demonstrate the negligence of truck drivers and their employers. One source of evidence that is available in truck accident cases is the vehicle’s “black box.” Black box is another name for a truck’s electronic control module (ECM). This device can provide valuable insight into the factors that caused a truck accident.

What is a Black Box?

The black box is an electronic device that is included in most modern semi-truck models. The main purpose of a black box is to collect information on a vehicle’s operation. The device continually stores information about the vehicle and keeps a backlog of data, generally for a period of 30 days.

What Information Does a Black Box Collect?

With the data from a black box, you can see concrete evidence of a driver’s actions and the state of their vehicle before a truck accident. Black boxes store information on almost everything mechanical in a truck, providing evidence of a truck’s speed, distance driving, and other operations. Because data is stored for several weeks, it can also exhibit any patterns that may be relevant to your case.

The data from a truck’s black box can provide information on:

  • Average speed and highest speed reached
  • Braking
  • Acceleration
  • Mechanical issues
  • Seat belt use
  • Time and distance spent driving
  • Revolutions per minute (RPM)
  • Air bag deployment

How Can Black Box Data Help in Your Truck Accident Case?

With the information from a truck’s black box, you can establish evidence of a driver’s negligence in a truck accident case. Some data will clearly show that a driver was behaving negligently at the time of a collision — for example, if they were driving at a high speed when the accident occurred. Other data may exhibit negligence by the trucking company. For example, data from the black box may show that the driver drove too long and violated hours of service regulations. This may be due to orders from the trucking company to spend more time driving, which would be a safety violation.

It is important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible if you have been injured in a truck accident. Black boxes periodically erase data, and the data can be manually erased as well. Our legal team can take the necessary steps to ensure a truck’s black box data is preserved and can be used as evidence in your case.

The lawyers of Portner & Shure, P.A. can help if you have been injured in a truck accident. We understand the complexities of these cases and know what is needed to build a strong case.

If you are interested in speaking with our legal team, complete our contact form or call (855) 954-4141 to schedule a free consultation with our attorneys.

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