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Federal Trucking Regulations May Mandate Black Boxes

Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook

The death of 10 people in a bus and 18-wheeler accident in California has left federal investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board at a loss as to why it happened. Although officials know that the truck crossed the highway’s center median, they have concluded their investigation without determining why it did so.

In calling for changes to federal trucking regulations to require the installation of data recording devices, similar to the flight recorders currently found on commercial aircraft. The accident investigators expressed frustration at being unable to determine whether it was negligent truck maintenance, truck driver fatigue or some other reason that caused the vehicle to cross into oncoming traffic.

Knowing what caused a particular accident is important, not only from the point of view of the NTSB that wants to prevent future accidents from occurring, but also for victims of a semi truck accident who might be entitled to compensation. Evidence about the cause of an accident may be vital in proving negligence on the part of a truck driver or trucking company.

Recovery of damages for serious injuries in a collision with a truck depends upon proving that the truck was operated in a negligent manner. An inattentive truck driver texting on a cellphone, a drunk truck driver unable to maintain control of the vehicle or a speeding truck driver are examples what conduct that might be considered as negligence.

A Contra Costa personal injury attorney might be of assistance if you have been injured in a truck accident caused by a negligent truck driver. A review of the facts of your case by the attorney might also uncover evidence to establish a basis a negligence claim against the vehicle’s owner.

Source: Sacramento Bee, “Buses, trucks need data recorders California crash investigation finds,” Curtis Tate, July 14, 2015