While commercial truck drivers typically receive accident-avoidance training, truck accidents happen at an almost alarming rate. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports an average of 500,000 truck accidents every single year in the U.S.
If you sustain a serious injury in a collision with a semitruck, you may be eligible for considerable financial compensation. Determining the cause of the truck accident is critical, though. Fortunately, like airplanes, many commercial trucks have black boxes.
The initial purpose of a truck’s black box
In the 1990s, some truck manufacturers grew tired of paying potentially fraudulent warranty claims. To keep truck owners honest, manufacturers began to install electronic control modules on their vehicles. Now, when a truck owner files a warranty claim, the manufacturer can usually check to see if a driver may have invalidated the warranty.
A secondary use for black box data
Even though black boxes are useful for warranty claims, they are often invaluable for crash investigations. A comprehensive review of black box data may reveal any of the following:
- Truck speed before the collision
- Truck maintenance
- Driver maneuvers
- Rest and operation times
Many truck black boxes also maintain communication records. If the truck driver sent a message through the truck’s communication system to a supervisor or anyone else, the black box may have a record of it.
Your personal injury case
While data from the truck’s black box may be helpful to your personal injury case, the data may not last forever. That is, data may disappear on its own or someone may erase it. To boost your chances of succeeding with your injury claim, you may need to take legal action to prevent destruction of black box data.