Tractor-trailer accidents are less common than crashes involving other vehicles for a couple of reasons. First, semi-truck drivers receive special training that often makes them safer drivers. Second, when compared to cars, trucks and SUVs, there are significantly fewer commercial trucks on the road today.
Tractor-trailer accidents are not exactly rare in the U.S., however. In fact, according to the National Safety Council, approximately 112,000 large trucks were in fatal and injury-causing accidents in 2020 alone. If a tractor-trailer collides with your vehicle, it may benefit you to obtain the truck’s event data recorder.
What is an EDR?
EDRs, sometimes known as black boxes, keep track of a variety of vehicle systems. The purpose of EDRs is to monitor truck performance. Consequently, if a truck has an EDR, there may be a real-time record of one or more of the following:
- The truck’s speed
- The driver’s seat belt usage
- The steering wheel’s position
- The accelerator’s and brake pedal’s position
It is not uncommon for EDRs also to include maintenance records. Depending on the type of EDR, it even may have communications between the driver and trucking company. Both of these may be invaluable in proving who is responsible for the crash.
Why should you act quickly?
The EDR may have information you can use to pursue financial compensation from the trucker, trucking company or someone else. Still, it is imperative for you to take steps to secure access to the EDR as soon as possible.
Ultimately, because truckers and trucking companies may be able to delete EDR data, you may have to take legal action to preserve vital evidence.