While commercial trucks are vital to the modern economy, they also present some risk to ordinary motorists. That is, because a tractor-trailer may weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, colliding with one in your roughly 2,500-pound car may leave you with life-altering injuries. To boost your odds of receiving compensation for your damages, you must know why the accident occurred. 

Nowadays, many commercial vehicles have event data recorders, commonly called black boxes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that many passenger vehicles also have these devices. Nevertheless, if you have sustained a serious injury in a collision with a semitruck or another commercial vehicle, the truck’s black box may give you critical details about the crash. 

Gathering relevant facts 

Following a collision with a commercial vehicle, you must know why the accident happened and who caused it. The truck’s black box can shed light on both matters. Using sensors, algorithms and relays, the black box automatically records details about the truck’s operation and maintenance. 

After an accident, the truck’s black box may help you answer the following questions: 

  • How fast was the truck traveling? 
  • Did the driver apply brakes or take evasive action? 
  • When was the truck’s last maintenance? 
  • What did the trucker tell the trucking company before, during or after the crash? 

Accessing black box data 

Because the truck’s black box belongs to the owner of the truck, you may have to jump through a few hoops to access its data. This process may be time-sensitive, though. After all, truck owners and drivers may have the ability to delete or overwrite black box information. Before destruction happens, you may need to take legal steps to preserve the data. 

If you have suffered a serious injury in a collision with a commercial truck, accessing the vehicle’s black box data may be an essential part of receiving the financial compensation you deserve. Developing a strategy for obtaining this information is a good first step.