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What is a truck’s event data recorder?

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2022 | Car Accidents |

A collision with a tractor-trailer is likely to change your life either temporarily or permanently. Unfortunately, though, commercial truck accidents continue to be alarmingly common on roadways across the country. In fact, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were nearly 130,000 of them in 2019 alone.

If you suffer an injury in a collision with a semi-truck, you may have piles of medical bills you cannot pay. Luckily, you may be able to seek financial compensation from the driver, the trucking company or even a third party. To do so, it may be beneficial to get your hands on the truck’s event data recorder.

What is an EDR?

Commonly called a black box, an EDR is an internal computer that records certain information about the truck. These black boxes are popular with truck manufacturers, trucking companies and insurance companies, as they gather important data about the truck’s performance.

What does an EDR tell you?

While an EDR  may not be able to tell you specifically who is to blame for the accident, it can give you some useful details about the crash. For example, the black box may indicate the truck’s speed at the time of the collision. It also may tell you the position of the truck’s steering wheel, brake and clutch pedals and accelerator.

How do you obtain EDR records?

The truck driver and the trucking company may have a keen interest in keeping the EDR’s data private. Therefore, you may have to take legal action to obtain EDR records. Timing is often important, though, as data in the EDR may be erasable.

Ultimately, if you can obtain the truck’s EDR, an accident reconstructionist may be able to tell you exactly how the accident happened and who is to blame for it.