Why Is the Black Box Important in Truck Accidents?

Published on October 10th, 2021

Many of us are familiar with the “black box” used in airplanes. These virtually indestructible devices constantly record information such as speed, direction, braking, and many other vital pieces of information. Most of us are unaware that the majority of trucks on U.S. roads and highways also contain “black boxes.” While no law mandates their inclusion as of yet, insurance providers, owners, and freight operators install them to protect themselves.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury from a South Carolina truck accident, the existence of a “black box” could be critical to your case. It will provide compelling information concerning the operation of the truck by the defendant. At Evans Moore, LLC, our truck accident lawyers have experience obtaining the black box and deciphering the information contained within to position your claim in the strongest possible position. Our thorough investigation will maximize the compensation you receive.

Data Stored Inside the Black Box

The black box is a treasure trove of evidence for your South Carolina truck accident claim. The black box is wired directly into the truck’s computer and constantly measures several data points. Typically, a black box will contain the following information:

  • The truck’s rate of speed
  • The truck’s average rate of speed
  • The truck’s maximum speed
  • Whether seatbelts were in use
  • Any attempt to apply the breaks
  • Any attempt to steer at the time of the collision
  • The revolutions per minute (RPMs) of the truck’s engine
  • The trucks tire pressure
  • Any mechanical issues or warning indicators
  • The amount of time the truck had been driving
  • Any rest brakes

In short, the black box tells the detailed history of the accident from the truck’s point of view. This information is objective and not subject to manipulation, so it is particularly compelling in a South Carolina truck accident case.

Why the Data Inside the Black Box Is Important to Your Case

In a South Carolina truck accident claim, one of the elements you will need to prove is negligence. Specifically, you will need to prove that the defendant breached his duty to operate the truck safely. Every driver in South Carolina owes a duty of care to everyone else on the road to exercise reasonable care while operating a vehicle. Exercising reasonable care includes following all traffic rules.

The evidence obtained from the black box may demonstrate whether the driver operated the truck negligently by failing to abide by South Carolina traffic laws. The black box can offer powerful evidence that the driver breached their duty of care. Specifically, the black box may contain evidence that the truck driver was speeding, failed to apply its brakes, had a maintenance issue, and even whether the driver lost control of the vehicle at the time of the crash.

In addition, truck drivers are subject to additional rules concerning the length of time they are allowed to drive without resting. Before the black box, it was extremely difficult to prove exactly how long a truck driver had been on the road and, thus, whether the driver had violated the law in this respect. The black box records data about the truck when it is in motion and records periods of rest. The black box will prove exactly how long the driver had been driving the truck at the time of the accident.

Unfortunately, this crucial evidence is not easy to obtain. The black box remains in possession of the owner of the truck. The owner may or may not be the operator. Notably, the owner is under no obligation to disclose or decode this information for your benefit. An experienced South Carolina truck accident lawyer can compel the owner to turn the evidence over to you in court. This evidence may be crucial to your ability to recover monetary compensation for your accident-related losses.

Talk to a South Carolina Truck Injury Lawyer Today

The lawyers at Evans Moore, LLC understand the importance of the black box and the legal steps necessary to acquire it. We will review your case, answer your questions, and advise you of your legal options. We will work diligently on your behalf to secure the maximum amount of monetary compensation for your injuries. Our initial consultation is always free.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury in a South Carolina truck accident, call our offices today, (843) 995-5000. We look forward to speaking with you today.

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