Recovering Black Box Recordings Can Help Injured Drivers Prevail in Their Accident Case


Statistics released to the public by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggest that a typical motorist is involved in an accident once almost every 18 years that requires them to file a claim with their insurance carrier, WRAL reported. Driving, therefore, places motorists and passengers at risk of injury, death, or property loss simply by being in a car. Having the ability to prove the other driver should be held accountable for causing an accident is critically important to the victim of a car crash. The vehicle’s black box can help make a strong case if the information is retrieved, interpreted, and preserved correctly and without delay.

While some drivers choose to place a camera on the dashboard and record every trip, the vehicle’s black box, also called an event data recorder, is doing precisely that. All cars manufactured within the last ten years are equipped with event data recorders. These on-board computers store reams of information and capture numerous data points like speed when brakes were applied, whether the vehicle’s lights were on, whether the accelerator was depressed when a crash occurred, among other information.

The information could be critical to proving another driver caused a crash, especially when the case comes down to a credibility battle between the two drivers. However, the event data recorder does not dispense information in a readily digestible form. An expert must evaluate the data and then recreate the crash based on the information captured by the car’s black box. Only then is the information of any value.

The data captured in a crash does not survive forever. The event data recorder could be reset when the car is repaired. Even if the black box is not reset during repairs, the data could be lost unless it is downloaded immediately. New data replaces old data quickly in these devices. Therefore, driving the vehicle after it has been repaired, even without resetting the event data recorder, will compromise the crash data and perhaps erase it forever.


18-Wheeler tractor-trailer trucks, similar to commercial airliners, have onboard data recorders called “Black Boxes.” These black box recorders are able to capture operational information via the 18-wheeler truck’s electronic network. The information recorded inside a tractor-trailer truck’s black box is maybe crucial evidence that points to how the truck crash happened and the condition of the tractor-trailer post-impact. Our 18-wheeler accident attorneys understand how important this information is to winning a truck accident case on behalf of injury or fatal accident victims. In some cases, the primary evidence needed to prove negligence in a trucking accident case is contained within the at-fault driver’s truck black box recorder.


Data contained in a Black Box can provide many details and circumstances regarding the accident. For example, the black box can record events such as the truck driving “slamming on the brakes.” Another example crucial to trucking accident claims is the location and speed of the truck at the time of the accident. Today’s commercial truck black boxes have GPS tracking systems that monitor speed and truck position. This data can help an accident reconstruction determine if the truck driver made a reasonable effort to avoid causing a collision or if the driver was distracted prior to the crass.

Also, Black Boxes provide additional data that helps to determine other possible contributing factors that lead to an accident such as:

  • Average driving speed
  • Brake switch status
  • Current throttle position (%)
  • Driving time
  • Engine oil pressure
  • Highest rate of speed during the trip
  • Load factor
  • Tire pressure
  • Trip distance
  • and additional information.


If you or a member of your family has sustained harm in a traffic accident caused by an unsafe driver, the optimal strategy to prevail in your accident case is to speak with an experienced Washington motor vehicle accident lawyer. An attorney from our firm is available to review your claim, document your injuries, ensure important deadlines are met, and fight hard to recover just financial compensation for accident-related injuries and losses. It is essential to know that being involved in an accident with damages is not as easy as collecting a settlement check from the at-fault party’s insurance company. A knowledgeable and aggressive lawyer can assist you in evaluating your claim and help you take the essential steps to build your case against the responsible party.

It is essential that the black box recorder is recovered and protected as quickly as possible to safeguard its data as evidence in a trucking accident case.


After you or a loved one has been injured or when you have lost a loved one due to a negligent driver, coping with the legal process, insurance company claims negotiations, and dealing with the other party’s legal defense attorneys can make a challenging situation much more painful and stressful for you. That is why it is crucial that you contact a qualified legal advocate who has the knowledge and experience necessary to protect your legal rights and offer you the assistance you deserve when an accident has taken a toll on your life.

If you were injured or lost a loved one in any accident, Fay Law Group is here for you. Call our Washington DC accident attorneys at (202) 589-1300 or contact us online for your free consultation.

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