Black Box in Commercial Trucks

Black boxes in commercial trucks can provide crucial evidence about the cause of a truck collision. Data from a black box can help victims prove the cause of their crash. Proving liability is key to recovering compensation for medical costs, loss of income, pain and suffering and other damages following a serious or fatal collision involving a tractor-trailer or other commercial vehicle.

Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, helps clients injured in truck crashes to obtain and analyze black box data. We have more than four decades of experience representing victims of collisions. Call as soon as possible after your crash so we can get our investigation started and help prove your claim. Your consultation is free so talk to a Southwest Florida trucking accidents lawyer today at 800-646-1210.

Black Box Data in Commercial Truck Crashes

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has proposed on multiple occasions to require black boxes in all trucks. Black boxes are also called electronic control modules (ECMs) or event data recorders (EDRs). The devices would record and store data regarding technical vehicle and occupant information of a vehicle involved in a near-collision or a collision. The data recorded could include:

  • Driver inputs.
  • Pre-crash vehicle dynamics and the system status prior to the collision.
  • A vehicle crash signature.
  • Restraint use and deployment status.
  • Post-collision data such as an automatic collision notification system activating.

EDRs are similar to flight-data recorders and use similar technologies to the black boxes that have been in operations in planes since the 1940s. However, questions of privacy have been raised in relation to proposals to require black boxes in all trucks.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Board recommended black boxes in trucks in 1997 and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration made recommendations for required black boxes in 2010 and again in 2014. FMCSA was required to make the recent recommendations for rules regarding black boxes pursuant to the MAP-21 Act.

Without an FMCSA rule requiring black boxes, their use is voluntary. Some trucking companies have EDRs installed in vehicles to monitor drivers in order to ensure compliance with rules. Since trucking companies can be held liable if truck drivers cause collisions, ensuring that truckers follow maximum drive time rules and operate vehicles safely is a smart business practice.

If black box data is available, victims may be able to subpoena and obtain information to prove their truck accident claim. Proposed FMCSA regulations related to black box use would protect driver privacy by ensuring records are available only to trucking companies; FMCSA personnel; law enforcement during compliance reviews and investigations; and post-crash inspections. Victims of truck collisions will need to ensure that they follow evidentiary and procedural rules in obtaining black box data.

Investigating SWFL Trucking Accidents Key to Success

Victims have the burden of proving liability in truck accidents. Black box data can provide incontrovertible evidence regarding how a crash happened. Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, can help victims to determine if black box data exists and can assist in determining accident causation and identifying responsible parties. Call today at 800-646-1210 to schedule a free consultation.

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