"Black Boxes" helping keep you safe

"Black Boxes" helping keep you safe

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - A device in your car is helping Law Enforcement determine the cause of a wreck, but it's also helping to keep you safe.

It's commonly known as a "black box," but the device in your car, which is more technically know as a control module, is designed to help keep you safe, in case of an accident.

The device keeps track of your driving, from how fast you are going, to if you are wearing your seatbelt.

Department of Public Safety Trooper Chris Ray describes the module as a hard drive, storing information.

Most cars designed after the early 2000's have a black box installed inside.

"In cars, they are located in different places. some of them are in the front where the transmission is, some of them are actually under the hood," Trooper Ray said.

In many cases, the DPS collects data from the control modules to help put together the pieces of a serious car wreck.

"If we are able to gather the data from this module, it helps paint a clearer picture and hopefully we can come up with the reason the accident occurred," Trooper Ray explained.

"The thing about the black boxes is they are not there to convict, they are there to simply record data and it helps explain what happened," he added.

Car companies also use the device to design safer vehicles.

"They give data the Safety Commissions can review, that way they can design new features for new cars, that way it will be better and safer for people in the future," Mike Velasquez, Service Manager at Brown Buick GMC said.

And although they are not required by law, most all vehicles have them

"Several years ago car manufactures put them in as a preventative measure for themselves, because people would sue saying they have their seat belt on when they really didn't. So, car manufactures started putting these in. We found out about and we were able to utilize the same data," Trooper Ray said.

He also Says black boxes and their data can be retrieved in almost any situation, even if the car has been on fire or in the water.

Colleen Nelson - NewsChannel 10