There are thousands of truck accidents in the United States every year, resulting in hundreds of injuries. In the year 2012, there were 3,921 people killed and more than 100,000 injured in large truck accidents, as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
When a semi-truck accident occurs, that causes death or injury, it’s important to establish who was at fault for the accident. Fault can be an essential component of recovering damages. One piece of evidence critical to determining responsibility is the black box on a truck.
What is a black box?
A black box on a rig is the colloquial name for the Electronic Control Module or ECM. The ECM is part of the computer system of the semi and records very accurate data about the 18-wheeler’s activity. The black box records data usually for 30 days.
Data Recorded by a Black Box
The data that’s recorded by a black box can be instrumental in proving the negligence of the truck driver involved in your accident. For instance, the continual problem of truck driver fatigue could have been the cause of your accident. The black box records how many hours the trucker drove and so you may be able to compare this to the standards issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to see if the driver went over his allotted hours, likely making him or her sleepy which contributes to accidents.
An ECM typically records the following listed below.
- Average speed
- High speed
- Airbag performance
- Seatbelt usage
- Number of hard stops
- RPM before hard stops
Some of the above can be telling: the data may suggest, for example, that the trucker was driving at an unsafe speed at the time of the collision. By using this data, you can prove that the truck driver was responsible for your accident, and should be held liable for your injuries.
Act Quickly to Preserve Truck’s Black Box Data
As noted above, the majority of ECMs only record data for a rolling period of 30 days. If you don’t act quickly, the data relevant to your truck accident could be erased. The sooner you hire an attorney and get your electronic preservation letter filed, the better.
Contact a Truck Accident Attorney Today
The truck accident attorneys at Cordisco & Saile LLC can help you to get the data you need from a truck’s black box. Once we have that data, we can help you formulate a case to prove that someone else was responsible for your accident, and therefore someone else should pay for it.