Why You Should Request the Black Box Data After a Truck Crash

Trucks on a highwayBy now, you have probably heard at least a little bit about the black box data recorders in vehicles and what they do. You may even know that black box recorders exist in most commercial vehicles today. However, if you were injured in a truck accident, do you know why you should request access to that truck’s black box data right away?

At Anderson & Cummings, we have been managing truck accident claims for decades, and we have extensive knowledge of the legal process. We also know the many ways that truck accident claims are different from car crash claims.

Learn more about the black box data in a commercial truck and why this data should be requested as soon after a crash as possible.

Injured in a truck crash with a negligent driver? If so, we are here to help you seek the fair and just compensation you deserve.

Call today to request your free case review. If we represent you, there are no upfront costs to pay.

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Why Do Trucks Have a Black Box?

The black box in a truck collects data about the vehicle while it is being operated. It is a recorder, catching a lot of details about the truck while it is being operated. If a crash happens, this data can be valuable to the truck driver if he or she was not negligent. It can also be helpful in an injury claim for the crash victim in the other vehicle.

The thing to know about these black boxes, Event Data Recorders, is that trucks are not legally required to have them. That said, they are installed in most semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, big rigs and other commercial vehicles today. Part of the reason is that truck owners and trucking companies want to know whether their drivers are operating these vehicles safely.

Truck owners know they could be on the hook for thousands of dollars in damages if one of their truck drivers causes a crash.

Why Should I Request the Black Box Data After a Truck Crash?

The details captured and stored on a truck’s EDR could help or hurt your case. Basic information gets recorded, of course, such as the date and time of the crash. The exact types of data captured on a truck may vary from one manufacturer to another. However, there are many common data points that get recorded.

What Data is Recorded on a Truck’s Black Box?

Some of the most common types of data recorded on a truck’s black box, crash or not, may include the following:

  • Seat belt usage – was the driver wearing one at the time of the crash?
  • Brakes – whether the driver applied them and when
  • Speed – tells how fast the vehicle was traveling upon impact
  • Airbag deployment – when or if it deployed properly
  • Cruise control – Was it engaged at impact? This could indicate a driver’s inattention
  • Engagement times of gears
  • Indication of hard stops – indicates the driver was slamming on the brakes
  • Tire pressure – this is critical, especially if tire pressure was too low or overinflated
  • Steering angles at the time of the crash
  • Acceleration/deceleration speeds
  • Throttle position at impact – which shows whether the truck continued to accelerate after the driver released the pedal. In some cases, data might reveal a defect, malfunction or improper installation.
  • When the truck driver last stopped for a break
  • The tilt of the vehicle before impact
  • GPS location at the time of the crash
  • And more

How Does a Truck’s Black Box Work?

Like the black box event data recorder in a car, the data does not remain indefinitely. That said the life of recorded data on a truck’s black box is limited. This kind of loop is necessary to prevent the recorder from running out of space. However, a truck’s EDR data does last a bit longer than the data on a car’s black box. The time period before black box data gets overwritten on a truck is approximately 250 engine cycles or three to four weeks.

Can a Truck Owner or Trucking Company Delete Black Box Data?

That depends. The individual or company that owns the vehicle also owns the data in the truck’s black box. Since these parties know they could be financially liable for a lot of costly damages, this data could quickly be destroyed. Sometimes it might be destroyed unintentionally, such as if the vehicle is totaled.

If a truck owner receives a legal request to hand over this data, however, they must comply. At that point, it becomes illegal for black box data to be deleted. However, if the truck company or owner does not receive any legal notification to hand over this data, it may get destroyed or overwritten.

This is just one scenario to consider and why we strongly recommend seeking legal help immediately following a crash with a truck.

Why Should I Ask an Attorney for Legal Help After a Crash With a Truck?

Attorneys know about all the types of evidence they can collect from a truck owner or trucking company. If they have extensive experience handling truck accidents, as the Fort Worth truck accident lawyers at Anderson & Cummings do, they also know time is critical. Waiting to request black box data could deprive your claim of critical evidence.

To get access to a truck’s black box data, your attorney will get a court-issued request. Even without injuries, dealing with a corporate trucking company, insurance, and their attorneys, can be extremely overwhelming. Our team of legal professionals handle difficult claims like these every day.

Injured By Truck Driver Negligence? Anderson & Cummings is Ready to Help

Our law firm has the resources and staff to thoroughly investigate the crash that caused your injuries and other losses. We know what evidence is available and the steps needed to get access to that evidence before it can be destroyed.

Any delay after a truck crash could potentially cost you thousands of dollars in recovered damages. There is also the statute of limitations in Texas to consider. Missing these and other deadlines could bar you from any recovery.

Call today to find out about your legal options. We will not waste your time if we do not think you have a case. However, if we think we can win your case and you choose our firm to represent you, we will seek the maximum possible compensation on your behalf.

Trusted Law Firm. Proven Results. (817) 920-9000

*These are actual dollar amounts paid to clients after the deduction of attorney fees and expenses.


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