Electronic Monitoring Of Trucks Could Provide Key Evidence After An Accident
Accidents involving semi-trucks or eighteen wheelers can cause death or devastating injuries to drivers and passengers traveling in smaller vehicles. Injured drivers may choose to seek compensation from negligent truck drivers and their employers in these cases because the medical costs and other related costs may skyrocket. As with other traffic accidents, trying to get evidence of the truck driver’s negligence for a subsequent claim can be challenging. Fortunately, most commercial trucks have electronic devices installed on board that keep vital information that could prove the driver’s negligence.
Under federal regulations, each commercial truck is required to be equipped with an electronic logging devices that are supposed to track a driver’s hours of operation to ensure compliance with limits on the number of hours a driver can drive between rest periods. These logs can be useful in determining if a driver was driving after a long driving shift with no breaks. A tired driver can be a distracted driver, and therefore, the logging device can be important in proving driver negligence.
Although not required under state or federal regulations, a commercial truck may also be equipped with an event data recorder or a black box similar in purpose to that used on an airplane. These black boxes have multiple purposes, one of the most important of which is to record mechanical problems or failure and other such information about the truck’s maintenance. Therefore, if the truck was having mechanical issues right before an accident, the event data recorder would capture this information and store it for future retrieval. In some cases, the information is not backed up to a central system, and it is possible for someone to manipulate or erase the data, however, an injured person’s attorney can file an injunction to prevent this from happening. Data retrieved from a black box can assist with accident reconstructions by experts to prove that the truck company is at fault for failing to maintain the truck in proper working order.
Trucks may also be equipped with other tracking instruments, such as GPS systems, that can identify the exact location of a driver prior to an accident. With some GPS systems, it is possible to pinpoint the speed the truck was traveling immediately before impact. If the driver was speeding, it can be seen on the GPS. GPS can also be used for accident reconstruction.
Some commercial trucks may be equipped with video cameras to monitor driver conduct and ensure that they follow company policies and state and federal laws. These cameras can also capture an entire accident as it happens, as well as crucial footage of what happened immediately before the accident. If this information exists, the plaintiff’s attorney should move to secure it as soon as possible after the accident.
Let Us Assist You
If you suffered injuries following an accident with a negligent truck driver, an experienced personal injury attorney can assist you in filing a claim against the driver and the trucking company. Contact the experienced Jacksonville, Florida and Brunswick, Georgia personal injury attorneys at Gillette Law, P.A. for professional assistance with your case.