Semi-trucks are on the roads all the time, delivering and transporting large amounts of goods across the country. When there’s an accident involving a semi-truck, it’s unfortunately very easy to blame the operator of such a large vehicle. The trucking company might argue that the driver didn’t slow down or that they were traveling above the speed limit, and therefore the accident was their fault.
It’s the potential for these exact circumstances, along with a litany of other general safety and function purposes, that the electronic control unit (ECU) is installed in semi-trucks. What is an electronic control unit? It’s been called many things, including the “black box” and the “brain” of the truck’s engine. One of its sub-functions is event data recorder (EDR), which may give you a clue to its purpose. The ECU, or black box, observes and records an enormous amount of data on the truck: speed, throttle, brake activity, and revolutions per minute. Black boxes are often used to monitor commercial drivers, making sure that they are not spending more than their allotted time behind the wheel of the truck.
As you can probably imagine, the ECU black box can be extremely useful in the event of an accident. Typical car crashes must typically rely solely on testimony from victims and witnesses to determine the exact circumstances of the wreck. But thanks to the black box, police and highway officials will have access to all the data they could ever need. The authorities will be able to tell if the truck was speeding, if they accelerated or decelerated in the moments leading up to the crash, and whether they had cruise control turned on. They will even be able to tell if the truck malfunctioned, in which case the driver would not be held responsible. Even these small variables can make or break a case against a trucker in an accident.
As a truck driver, should you ever find yourself the victim of an accident, it’s crucial that you contact an attorney immediately. Trucking companies own the data that’s been recorded on each black box, and they could potentially erase the data to protect themselves. You certainly don’t want to have the accident pinned entirely on you. An experienced attorney will see that your data is preserved, ensuring that you are fairly compensated for any damages and acquitted of any unfair charges.
Contact us here at Wayne Hardee Law. Our team of skilled attorneys will fight for you and the protection of your rights. Don’t hesitate, call us today!