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What are semi-truck “black boxes” and why are they important?

On Behalf of | Sep 3, 2022 | Car Accidents, Truck Accidents |

If you experience a crash with a semi-truck, you will want to gather as much information about the event as possible to receive fair compensation for the damages. That will likely mean looking at the truck’s “black box.”

Here are the basics of these black boxes and why they are essential.

What is a black box?

If you have experience with air travel, you have likely heard of black boxes, as they have long been used in this industry to record flight data. Today, trucking companies use black boxes to gather similar data from semi-trucks and refer to them as Electronic Control Modules. The information the modules contain can provide insight into the cause of your truck accident and might be able to reveal if the driver was doing anything unsafe.

What information does it contain?

A truck’s black box contains a lot of critical information, including:

  • The accident’s coordinates
  • The truck’s speed
  • If the driver had cruise control on
  • The truck’s mechanical condition
  • The position of the wheels

The black box stores or sends this information to a central data center. Generally, it ensures that companies and drivers adhere to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s guidelines.

Why are they important?

The black box can show whether the driver was using poor braking techniques, driving recklessly or speeding. In other words, the black box can contain data necessary to help plaintiffs succeed in claims against drivers or trucking companies.

Gathering black box information can be critical for truck accident cases. Having an experienced attorney who knows how to acquire the black box data can be very helpful.