Black Box Data in Trucking Accidents

Decoding Black Box Data: How It Plays a Role in Trucking Accidents

If you want to create the strongest truck accident case possible, knowing exactly what happened can make it much easier to prove the other party’s liability and demonstrate your damages. A truck’s black box can play an important role in proving the facts of the accident, so your attorney may take steps to gain access to that data.

Learn more about how a truck’s black box could influence your claim and what you should expect. When you’re ready to talk about your truck accident case in greater detail, call Bailey Javins & Carter at 800-497-0234 to set up a consultation.

What You’ll Find in Black Box Data

When most people think of a black box, they are referring to the vehicle’s event data recorder. An EDR monitors important information and records it in the moments before, during, and after an “event”—by which we mean “accident.” When triggered by a collision, the EDR will preserve the data gathered during the relevant timeframe. Signs of a collision include rapid deceleration to zero, hard braking, seatbelt tensioner activation, and airbag deployment.

An EDR can track a wide range of data. Some of the information you may have available to you on an EDR includes a vehicle’s speed, the driver’s use of cruise control, braking patterns, steering, and similar data.

How This Data Can Affect Accident Reconstruction

When you work with someone with experience in accident reconstruction, the information contained in a truck’s black box is invaluable. It provides specific information about what exactly the truck driver was doing prior to the crash. Accident reconstruction experts often use this information to identify patterns pointing to different types of accidents. Consider, for example, a fatigued driver who falls asleep. They often have zero steering activity in the seconds before a crash because they have fallen asleep. This is often followed by a sudden brake and hard overcorrection in one direction or the other, which happens when they wake up and try to take corrective action. Using this data and other evidence, an accident reconstruction expert may be able to create an accurate and thorough timeline of how the accident occurred.

Using Black Box Data in a Truck Accident Claim

Your attorney knows how to use evidence effectively to put together a compelling and convincing truck accident case. You have likely already had a chance to tell your side of the story to the police, your attorney, and your insurance company—and so has the truck driver. Information pulled from the black box can corroborate either party’s claim or highlight inconsistencies in the drivers’ retellings.

Your attorney can also identify unsafe or troubling information that may point to driver liability. For example, if the EDR indicates that the truck driver was speeding 15 miles above the speed limit at the time of the crash, that indicates reckless driving. If the EDR shows a pattern indicating fatigued driving and your lawyer can prove that the vehicle had been running longer than is legally permitted under FMCSA regulations, this may point to either the driver or the company choosing to operate in an obviously unsafe manner.

How Data May Influence Compensation

In addition to making it easier to prove liability, the EDR may influence how much compensation you ultimately receive. See, the force of an accident is determined by each vehicle’s speed at the time of the crash. A driver can significantly decrease the force of an accident by taking corrective action in the milliseconds before a collision. The EDR will show whether or not the truck driver took evasive action and how fast they were going. If they were driving far too fast for the conditions or they took minimal evasive action, that may mean that you were subject to far greater force during the crash. This could translate to a larger settlement.

Start Your Case with the Team at Bailey Javins & Carter

If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident in Charleston, don’t wait any longer to find out if you’re entitled to compensation. Call Bailey Javins & Carter at 800-497-0234 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with our team of truck accident attorneys.