If you are ever involved in a collision with a large truck, one piece of equipment that you should be asking about right away is the truck’s “black box.” This box, also known as an event data recorder or EDR, records many important facts about the truck and the way it was being driven before the collision.
A truck’s EDR system may vary based on what model it is, but most tie into the main systems and can see simple information such as:
- Detailed GPS information
- Crash-like conditions such as sudden acceleration or sharp wheel movement
- Sudden braking
Although these pieces of information are helpful, there is a problem with some EDR systems: They record over themselves. If you don’t seek out that information quickly, there is a risk that the system could rerecord over old data, effectively losing all information about the crash before you can get to it.
Will all trucks have black boxes?
Not all trucks have black boxes inside, because there is no federal regulation requiring them. Most do, however, since they can help businesses track the way their drivers are behaving on the road and even protect them against being blamed for some crashes.
How hard is it to get information about a truck’s EDR?
It can be difficult to find out about a truck’s EDR, because black boxes belong to the trucking company. There is no law that states that the box has to be turned over to law enforcement right away, and your attorney may need to put in a request for that information with the court.
It may be the case that the trucking company will refuse to turn over that data or continue to delay until the data erases itself. A good attorney will work quickly to request the information from the black box, so there is a lower risk of the data being erased for good.
If you’re involved in a serious collision with a truck, know that more information about the collision could come from the EDR system. It could make a difference in proving fault and helping you get compensated.