Automobile Black Box Recorders:
Many people are injured annually by large commercial trucks who are involved in accidents with cars. Often, it is difficult to determine who is at fault after one of these accidents. Most trucks today are equipped with a “black box” called an Electronic Control Module or ECM. These are data storage devices that are used to capture the on board data from the truck while the operator is driving the rig. The ECM can record operational data over a certain amount of time. Usually, they record the driver’s operations over a month’s time frame. After an accident with a truck, it is possible to consult the ECM to find out the data regarding events that were recorded up to the minutes before the accident.
The ECM is able to tell the truck driver’s average speeds, as well as what the highest speeds recorded were measured at (as maintained by the driver) during the time that the device is recording the truck driver. For example, if the truck driver usually speeds on certain sections of the route, this will be recorded in the ECM. Also, the ECM records the total amount of time driven, the time spent driving over 65 miles per hour, the truck wheels revolutions per minute (RPMs), if the driver was wearing a seat belt, how long the truck idled and if the truck was in a collision that made the airbags deploy.
These ECM records and measures information which is able to help the authorities to determine fault, in the event of the truck driver becoming involved in an accident with a car. In that case, the truck driver will be asked for a statement of what happened. The police or other authorities will make an investigation and then a determination regarding the fault for the loss. The ECM will be instrumental in determining whether the driver tried to avoid the accident, was the cause of the accident, or was not involved in the accident, once the information is available on review.
For example, if the driver made several hard braking stops with the hydraulic brakes to avoid an accident, that information may be included in the records of the ECM. If the driver was driving and had been drowsy and the speed was irregular, that might also be recorded on the ECM. If the truck driver has had an accident in which the airbags deployed, and the driver was able to take the truck in to get the airbags reinstalled, this information would also be recorded on the ECM. Finally, if the driver is in the habit of not wearing a seatbelt, or drives over the safe total time limits the ECM will record this. If the driver is driving more than should be driven before taking a rest, this could be a significant factor in the truck driver being over tired, and susceptible to having an accident. Even though the truck is equipped with an ECM, it is still important for the driver to keep copious records and logs of the time driven and other information.
If you have been involved in an accident with a large commercial truck, give the law offices of Ledger & Associates a call at 1-800-300-0001 or email us at our website www.ledgerlaw.com. We are available to speak to you about your claim.