The collision points on the vehicles, the skid marks on the road and the testimony of witnesses are all part of what a person should try to document with photos, videos and notes at the scene. However, when a large truck crashes, the reasons for the crash may not be immediately apparent.
Here are two sources of possible evidence that investigators may check after a semi-truck accident.
Maintenance and repair records
According to the Code of Federal Regulations, every trucking company has to inspect, maintain and repair its vehicles on a regular schedule and must document all of it along with the times and dates of each. If an inspector finds incomplete records or repairs left undone, it could indicate a mechanical failure as a cause.
The truck’s engine control module
The purpose of the engine control module is to collect data about the truck’s operation. However, depending on the brand and type of ECM a truck has, it may provide an overview of what was going on when the truck crashed, according to Crash Response LLC. The downloaded information typically includes the truck’s speed, braking, the position of the clutch and throttle and so on.
These kinds of information can help an investigator discover that, for example, the driver did not hit the brakes in time, or the company did not have the brakes replaced on time, or both. If the truck driver was looking at a cellphone and the brakes failed, the driver and the company might both be liable. A thorough investigation of the truck crash is essential before negotiating a settlement.