How is GPS Data Used in a Truck Accident Investigation?
To determine liability in a truck accident, there are multiple pieces of evidence that can be looked over. Commercial truckers are required to keep records of their driving time, routes, cargo weights, and maintenance, leaving a kind of “paper trail” of their actions leading up to an accident.
One system attorneys sometimes choose to investigate after a truck accident is one that is not exclusive to commercial vehicles: Their GPS. Most drivers use a GPS in some form, from advanced navigation systems to built-in smartphone apps. A GPS can provide crucial insight into a truck driver’s travels and what may have contributed to a collision.
What Data is Shown in a Semi-Truck GPS?
The purpose of using a GPS is to provide directions to a destination. An investigation of GPS data will, of course, show where the user drove — but how can this data apply to an accident?
To a lawyer, GPS data shows more than just a travel route. It answers questions such as:
- How far did the trucker drive, and for how many hours?
- Did they stop at all during their trip (for maintenance, to buy gas, or to rest)?
What Can Investigators Conclude from GPS Evidence?
So, if a GPS can show what a driver was doing in the hours leading up to a collision, how does that data prove liability? Information about the length of a trip can present driver fatigue as a possible factor — if the driver was on the road for an extended period of time without any breaks, they may have caused the accident by falling asleep at the wheel or making a mistake because they were tired. A recorded stop for maintenance could show that there was an issue with their truck, and further investigation can uncover if the issue was properly addressed, or if an unresolved problem contributed to the accident.
The Limitations of Using GPS Evidence
While quality GPS data can provide important insight into a truck accident case, it does have some disadvantages. Depending on the system, information may be periodically erased as the driver continues use. It is important to act quickly after an accident to ensure you get the evidence you need.
After a truck accident, our experienced team of attorneys can investigate details and build a strong case based on the available evidence. Contact Richardson Richardson Boudreaux, PLLC for help with your case.To schedule a free consultation, send us a message or call (918) 347-6456.