Understanding how a “black box” works in a truck accident claim

On Behalf of | Oct 27, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

The term “black box” is often associated with aircraft accidents, issues or errors. Otherwise known as an “electronic control module” or “event data recorder,” it functions as a storage device. Manufacturers eventually integrated it in trucks around the 90’s with the similar purpose of recording a wide range of information about the vehicle’s status or operations.

Today, a black box can serve as valuable proof to explain the circumstances surrounding a truck collision. With professional help, survivors can extract data to establish their claims and recover compensation from liable parties.

What information does a black box hold?

A truck crash investigation is rarely simple due to the multiple parties involved and the severity of catastrophic damages sustained. Each individual or entity may have varying versions of how and why the tragedy occurred. Thus, injured parties can protect their rights and interests by using the following black box information to capture their case’s factual events:

  • Pre- and post-crash dynamics
  • Seat belt usage
  • Steering or braking maneuvers
  • Airbag deployment or performance
  • The truck’s average speed or speed during impact

Any of this critical information can fill the gaps that other pieces of evidence, such as photos, surveillance footage or witness statements, cannot substantiate. It can be the key detail that triggers a case’s turning point. For example, claimants can prove that an undiscovered defect during a supposed routine inspection caused the collision.

Why is urgent action critical in preserving black box data?

As in any electronic equipment, a black box also has limitations that claimants must watch out for. Typically, it can only store up to a month’s worth of data before it records anew and erases previous recordings. If that doesn’t happen first, trucking companies may also intentionally destroy the device altogether despite the risks. An experienced New Jersey legal team knows the urgency of the situation and will help victims stay ahead of these challenges. They can work on a protective order to preserve the data showing how a negligent truck driver may have violated state and federal regulations.