You may remember us speaking on the topic of the Little Black Box. When we discuss this piece of equipment it is easy to call it a little black box because it is what most people tend to visualize it as, given its use in the aeronautics field. There are more than one data recorder in a commercially available vehicle. One is most accurately referred to as a Power Control Module (PCM). Another is the Airbag Control Module (ACM). Neither of these modules primary function is to record data, but it is a beneficial secondary function.
The data recorded by the PCM may vary from model to model and year to year. A sampling of the information recorded by the PCM includes timing of airbag deployment, speed of the vehicle, percent of accelerator application, Percentage of engine throttle, Brake operation, anti lock brake engagement, position of transmission and more.
Why is this information helpful in reconstructing a car accident? It is helpful in that it is another set of data that can be compared to the physical markings at the scene, which if they correlate well together increases the confidence that the conclusions reached in reconstructing the crash are accurate. This is important because it assists in helping judges and juries determine who is at fault in the car collision and is therefore responsible for the harm done in the crash.
Every driver on the highway who has tried to drive “straight through” on a long distance vacation or work trip knows that scary feeling when the thoughts start to drift, the eyelids get heavy and the head starts to bob. Hopefully you have pulled off the road, to a hotel or a rest stop, and taken a nap to clear your head. Too many people have not and have woken up only to find they have been in a car wreck and either have suffered, or caused, serious personal injury. I have a friend who learned the hard way and hit a bridge support and suffered broken bones, and a brain injury. Fatigue is the enemy of the safe driver. Reasonable and safe divers do not drive when fatigue starts to tug at their consciousness.
Consider the over the road truck driver. The driver is driving a several ton truck, probably carrying several tons of cargo at 65-70 miles per hour on a road shared with small passenger cars. The driver is under pressure to deliver their load in a timely fashion. If they do not make their schedule it can have significant adverse economic impact on their lives. The temptation may be higher to drive a little longer, to get to the destination a little sooner. The consequences can be awful. This is the reason the Government, in cooperation with the trucking industry places limits on the amount of time a trucker can be actively operating their semi tractor-trailers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued mandatory rules covering the amount of time a driver can be behind the wheel. These rules cover not only big rigs, but buses and smaller trucks as well. Reputable drivers and companies know that following these rules is in their best interest. It cuts down on fines, crashes, injuries, insurance claims and other costs which adversely affect their bottom line.
If you, or a loved one or friend, have been seriously injured in a collision with a big truck, and you have questions about your rights, please give me a call. We will sit down with you and your family and provide you with answers to all your questions. There is no cost for these consultations and there is no fee unless we recover compensation for your injuries and losses.