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Do you know what a truck’s black box is?

After a crash with a large truck, one helpful tool that can show what caused the crash is the truck’s black box. This is also known as an event data recorder.

An EDR is a device installed into a truck to record technical data, which can help you find out more about pre-crash vehicle dynamics, drive inputs, the use of restraints, post-crash data and more, according to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration.

As a victim of a traffic collision, it’s worth looking into gaining access to this black box, since it could help confirm the driver’s responsibility for the collision.

Are all event data recorders the same?

No, not all EDRs are the same. Some can be quite simple and will only record a few pieces of data for a short time before recording over the data again. Others record for many hours or days at a time, providing a much stronger look into the driver’s behaviors at the time of a collision as well as before and after the event.

Is it necessary to obtain the black box to make your personal injury claim?

Not necessarily, though it may be helpful. A black box is only one piece of evidence that can be used to prove a trucker’s liability following a crash. Other pieces of evidence you may be able to use could include:

  • Witness statements
  • Your own testimony
  • The claims or statements made by the truck driver
  • The statements of others involved in the collision
  • Evidence from the scene, like photos or videos

It’s important to remember that not all black boxes will be able to be used following a crash. A serious crash where there is a fire or extreme damage to the vehicles could damage a black box and leave it unusable.

If you’d like to use the black box to gather evidence, it’s important to get ahold of it as soon as possible. If you wait too long, it’s possible that the evidence could be erased or lost due to the way an EDR works. An attorney should look for an EDM and request it from the trucking company as soon as it’s available to help with your personal injury claim.