DO TRUCKS HAVE BLACK BOXES?
February 19, 2018
You never saw the truck behind you coming; the driver failed to stop for stopped traffic, and you just happened to be the one in front of him. Now, you have injuries and need to prove that the driver wasn’t doing his job correctly.
After a truck accident, one thing that can help your case is the truck’s “black box.” This is better known as an Electronic Control Module (ECM). The ECM is integrated into the engine and records the driver’s actions, similarly to the black boxes found on commercial airliners.
While the black box is actually there to help prove that engine warranties aren’t being abused, they help victims of trucking accidents, too. They can show important data such as how many hard stops the driver makes and the speed the driver was traveling before the stop. It can also help prove that the driver’s logs are or are not the same as the miles recorded by the black box.
Usually, an ECM records for approximately one month before it begins to record over data from the past. At that point, you can no longer access data from before the rewrite. In your case, it’s a good idea to have your attorney seek out the information from the black box immediately. If you wait longer than a month, this important evidence may disappear for good.
Your attorney can file an immediate protective order to make sure the ECM data stays put, which helps you guarantee the evidence is available for your case. It could help you get more when you seek a settlement or help support a win at trial.
Source: FindLaw, “Preserving the “Black Box” After a Truck Accident,” Joseph G. Klest, accessed Dec. 15, 2017