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The Importance of Obtaining Black Box Evidence After a Truck Accident

What is a black box and what data does it preserve?

Securing black box data can be essential in building your tractor trailer accident case.  Black box recorders are standard in most large trucks that were built in the 1990s and beyond.  Black box devices, also known as Electronic Control Modules (ECM), contain vital information, including a truck’s location and speed history.  Our Marietta truck accident attorneys explore the importance of obtaining black box data after your tractor trailer accident below.

Black Box Recorders Hold Vital Information

Modern tractor trailers typically come equipped with a global positioning system or GPS that will track the truck’s journey.  Data from the GPS can provide the exact location of the truck at the time of the accident, which can be of critical importance.

In addition to GPS data, black boxes could also contain information as to the tractor trailer’s speed, braking, following distance, the number of hours driven, and facts about the vehicle’s maintenance, such as tire pressure.  Depending on the precise ECM found in the truck, additional data could include communications between the truck driver and the trucking company.  It could record instances of hard braking or use of the clutch.  All of this data can lead to critical discoveries about the truck driver’s level of fatigue or distraction, mechanical problems, or dangerous driving, and much more.

Securing Black Box Data

If you have been injured in a truck accident, it is critical that you obtain the assistance of a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible.  Your attorney will send a preservation of evidence letter, also referred to as a spoliation letter, notifying the truck driver and trucking company that the black box data must be preserved and cannot be tampered with because it will be used in later litigation.

The data within the black box must be downloaded with care, which could require the assistance of a truck expert.  All steps should be taken to prevent the loss of information.  If your lawyer has any issues obtaining the black box evidence, he or she will likely elect to file suit in court so as to seek the court’s assistance with preserving this important evidence.

Posted in: Tractor Trailer & Truck Accident