Trucking industry expert witness Robert R. Reed writes on Truck/tractor-trailer crashes:
4.”OBC”and “GPS” – This technology is most important and provides a wealth of knowledge for reconstruction after the at-scene investigation. The information from these systems travels in real time from the truck to satellites, ground based towers or the internet and is transmitted to trucking company computers. This information can include driver communication, messages to truck, maintenance, monitoring freight, driver payroll, miles traveled, expences, trip reports, fuel stops, fuel consumption, idle time, truck position and status reports, driver activities, hours of service, “GPS” location, time and distance reports and pick up and deliver times. These technology advanced systems are invaluable to modern trucking companies for use in the management of their operations. These same systems should become part of the normal crash reconstruction process. These systems can be identified on the truck by the monitor and keyboard in the cab and special antenna that looks like “old type popcorn popper” that is usually mounted on back of cab or roof by wind deflector. Also trucking companies with out computers create this same type information in hard copy written documents.
5.Don’t rush investigation, secure all information and analyze along with traditional reconstruction efforts to arrive at any causal factors. Trucking companies, truck drivers, injured parties, deceased victims and family members all deserve complete and accurate results from all investigations. * * *Footnote: This article was written to give insight and help enhance large truck crash investigations and is from personal experience in assisting police departments, prosecutors, working as an expert/consultant in civil litigation along with over 30 years in the trucking industry.