How an 18-Wheeler’s Tech Can Help Your Injury Case

How an 18-Wheeler’s Tech Can Help Your Injury CaseSafety tech in cars has come a very long way in the past few decades. From lane assist to back-up cameras to self-parking systems, there isn’t much our day-to-day vehicles can’t do. Safety tech in commercial trucks, however, has largely been limited to black boxes and bubble mirrors. But it looks like that’s all about to change.

Heavy Duty Trucking recently reported that Detroit is offering a new technology service that records specific safety events that may occur during the duration of a truck driver’s shift. The new technology service is called the Detroit Connect Video Capture (DCVC). DCVC provides video cameras that record and save video footage of events as they occur either at a specific worksite or while the trucker is on the road.

While this is a new service solely for 18-wheelers, we think this data would be beneficial for truck accident victims’ cases, too, as all safety events will be recorded. For example, if an automobile and semi-truck collide, the DCVC service will record the 30-second event along with the trucker’s speed, braking profile, location, and dashboard summary. This is vital information as it can help determine who is at fault and if any mistakes were made by the truck driver.

How is evidence collected in truck accidents now?

Along with the typical ways we collect evidence from an accident scene – looking at tire tracks, using video surveillance from local shops, dash cams, or witnesses, examining the points of impact on your vehicle as well as the type of physical injuries you sustained – there are three specific sources for information about truck accidents:

  1. Cell phone data, which can show if either driver was using their phone (and distracted), or even speeding (if recorded by a GPS),
  2. Electronic logging devices (ELD) which record driving time in trucks (to ensure drivers aren’t fatigued), and
  3. Event data recorders (EDRs) which “may record (1) pre-crash vehicle dynamics and system status, (2) driver inputs, (3) vehicle crash signature, (4) restraint usage/deployment status, and (5) post-crash data such as the activation of an automatic collision notification (ACN) system.”

Detroit’s new software can do all of this and more, and provide actual video footage on top of it all.

The truck accident attorneys at Philbrook Law Office work tirelessly to help victims of truck accidents show that a truck driver was reckless, careless, or negligent. However, if this new technology system spreads across the United States, it can further assist us in proving negligence. Plus, there may be an added benefit of making drivers more aware of their risky behaviors. No one likes to be caught on video, right?

What are the most common truck accidents in Vancouver, WA?

A truck accident can result from any negligent act – by a trucker or another person – and many collisions are the same as they are for passenger vehicles: rear-end crashes, head-on collisions, T-bone accidents, and so forth. But there are some types of crashes that are unique to (or more common for) semi-trucks and large commercial vehicles:

  • Rollover accidents: A rollover accident is when a semi-truck rolls over onto its side or top. It is usually caused by the weight of the truck’s load. If this weight shifts when a truck is making a turn or going around a curve, it can cause the truck to become imbalanced and roll over.
  • Jackknife accidents: When a trucker improperly brakes or turns, they can cause the trailer to swing wide, creating the shape of a jackknife. When this happens, the trailer may go one way, and the tractor unit may remain facing a different way.
  • Underride accidents: An underride accident is when an automobile ends up colliding into the back of a semi-truck and going underneath the trailer. This often happens when a truck driver suddenly slows down or slams on their brakes.
  • Wide turn accidents: Truckers usually have a very difficult time making right turns. Therefore, in order to do so, they must make wide turns. However, if they do not make sure that their path is clear, they may collide with another vehicle, causing a wide turn accident.
  • Reversing accidents. Remember those “bubble mirrors” we mentioned earlier? They’re supposed to help truckers see vehicles, people, and objects behind them. This is because most tractor-trailers don’t have rear-facing cameras, so it makes them more likely to be involved in a back-up accident than a typical passenger vehicle might.

Common injuries that truck accident victims sustain

Semi-trucks are allowed to weigh up to 80,000 when fully loaded with cargo; the average weight of a car is a little under 4,100 pounds. Therefore, automobile drivers do not stand much of a chance when they are involved in accidents with these large trucks. If a driver is fortunate enough to survive the impact, they will most likely suffer severe, catastrophic injuries. Some of the life-altering injuries that truck accident victims sustain include:

Truck accidents are often frightening and life changing. That is why this new tech could be so important: not only can it help us build a case on behalf of a truck accident victim, but it could also help drivers and companies recognize patterns of dangerous behaviors. We support anything that will reduce the number of truck accident-related injuries each year.

If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a collision with a semi-truck or other commercial vehicle, Philbrook Law Office is here to help. Call us or submit our contact form to schedule a free consultation. We have offices in Battle Ground and Vancouver, WA.