Representing victims of serious harm and death

How Can I Prove My Trucking Accident Case Using the Data from the Black Box?

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The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration[1] provides that of the approximately 411,000 police-reported crashes involving large trucks in 2014, 3,424 resulted in at least one fatality, and 82,000 resulted in at least one nonfatal injury. The truck accident lawyers at Whiting Law Group, Ltd. Understand how difficult it can be to identify the right legal action if you are in a truck collision and you are unsure about what to do next. What is the “Black Box”?

Since the 1990’s, most trucks manufactured in the United States have an Electronic Control Module[2] (ECM) integrated with their engine components. The primary function of an ECM is to control the engine’s performance, fuel efficiency, and emissions; to safeguard the engine from abuse; to troubleshoot mechanical problems, and to monitor the operation of the vehicle. In the event of a collision, the ECM may also record data that are useful in determining what happened.

Depending on the engine make, model, and year, a truck’s ECM may record data surrounding a hard-braking event by the vehicle. Each engine manufacturer refers to these events by a different name, such as Hard Brake, Quick Stop, Sudden Deceleration, and Incident. Additionally, some ECMs can record Last Stop data. The type of data recorded varies by manufacturer, but typical data associated with these events include:

• Overall average speed

• Highest speed

• Brake times

• Percent throttle

• Engine RPM

• Cruise on/off

• Time driven

• Amount of time driving over 65 miles per hour.

Consult an Experienced Truck Collision Attorney

ECMs are useful to victims in truck collisions as they provide factual data regarding truck operations that may have been a factor in causing the truck crash. It is critical that you work with an experienced truck accident attorney who can move quickly to preserve the data especially since there are recording time limits on ECMs which typically record data for a period of thirty days. At Whiting Law Group, we have formed an Emergency Response Truck Accident Investigation Team to preserve critical evidence and data when our clients are involved in a trucking accident. Our response team is made up of leading experts and accident investigators from around the country. Within hours of joining in a case, our emergency response team can be on the scene, interviewing witnesses, securing evidence and determining the facts of the crash.

Whiting Law Group takes a personal interest in every case that comes into our office. If you are looking for an attorney that will give you undivided individual attention, commitment to excellence, and use every possible resource available to help you win your case, then please contact Mr. Whiting directly for a free consultation toll-free at 1-877-936-7200 or by email at twhiting@wlglw.net. There is no fee unless we win your case.

References

[1] https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/data-and-statistics/large-truck-and-bus-crash-facts-2014

[2] http://www.exponent.com/heavy_truck_electronic_control_module_data/