You’ve likely heard, in the aftermath of a plane crash, that investigators are seeking the “black box” data recorder in an effort to understand the cause of the accident. You may not know, though, that many newer models of commercial trucks also come equipped with a similar device.
The black box recorder also referred to as an electronic control module (ECM) or electronic data recorder (EDR), is a small device installed in a semi, big rig, 18-wheeler, or tractor-trailer to collect and store information about the physical properties of the truck. The black box can gather a wide range of data about the truck’s operation, including:
- The speed the truck was traveling immediately before and at the time of an accident
- Whether the truck accelerated or decelerated before the crash
- If and when brakes were used
- Whether the truck was on cruise control
- How long the truck had been on the road since its last stop
- If the driver was wearing a seat belt, and
- The vehicle’s tire pressure at the time of the accident.
The black box also can provide data that can be compared with the driver’s physical log to determine if state or federal “on the road” time regulations were violated.
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Maryland Super Lawyer Jonathan Scott Smith has aggressively fought for personal injury victims in Baltimore and throughout Maryland for more than 30 years. A skilled and experienced attorney with a history of getting positive results at trial, he has received the Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars (the highest rating possible) and a perfect 10.0 Superb rating as a litigator. He’s also AV-rated by colleagues under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System and a 2012 Top-Rated Lawyer by American Lawyer magazine.
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