Black Box/EDR – Heavy Vehicles

Similar to passenger vehicle EDR’s, heavy vehicle EDR’s were not initially designed for accident reconstruction or continuous recording (i.e. airplane and train EDRs). But, unlike passenger vehicle EDR’s, which rely on airbag control modules or supplemental restraint modules for incident data recordings, heavy vehicle EDR’s rely on ECMs and other diagnostic and reporting modules within the heavy vehicle for incident data recording.

Heavy vehicle EDR’s have no regulatory requirements that mandate any standardization of incident data recording. However, many of the heavy vehicles have adopted similar communication, software, and hardware protocols. Some heavy vehicles have incident data which is retrievable either through publicly available tools and software or through certain vendors specified by the engine manufacturer.

Some heavy vehicles also contain integrated or standalone modules or systems designed for ABS, travel computing, travel and time tracking, planning, navigation, diagnostics, or collision warning. Other heavy vehicles (i.e. buses) could have video cameras or other recording devices. These standalone devices may also contain incident data.

If so enabled, heavy vehicle EDR’s can contain one or more of the following:

  • Hard braking data
  • Last stop data
  • Fault codes
  • Trip data
  • Diagnostic snapshot data

As with passenger vehicle EDR analysis, heavy vehicle EDR data and analysis can be an integral part of an accident reconstruction, which may or may not include inspection of the vehicles and the site, analysis of police reports and scene photographs, and an evaluation of the witness statements/testimony.

ARCCA’s accident reconstructionists have the expertise to perform both heavy vehicle/commercial truck and passenger vehicle accident reconstruction and EDR data retrieval/analysis.