Chevy's new seat belt feature stops teens taking off unless they're buckled up
According to Chevrolet, teen drivers are far less likely to use a seat belt, so it has incorporated some new technology into vehicles to encourage safer habits. Called Buckle to Drive, the new feature adds to Chevrolet's Teen Driver mode and will temporarily prevent teenagers from taking off until their seatbelt is secured.
Introduced in 2015, Chevrolet's Teen Driver mode functions like a report card, gathering information on how teenagers are driving and offering parents a neat summary thereafter.
Set up by the parents and engaged when the teenager enters the car with their pre-programmed key fob, the system tracks things like distance, maximum speed, how many times the driver was warned for going over the limit and how many times safety features like stability and traction control were triggered. It will also automatically mute the radio until the driver and front-seat passenger have fastened their seat belts.
Announced today, the Buckle to Drive feature takes things one step further, keeping the car at a standstill until the driver is all buckled up. If they are not, then the car won't shift out of park for 20 seconds and they'll be presented with an audio alert and dashboard message that reads "Buckle seat belt to shift."
While a 20-second wait before taking off isn't the end the world, the idea is to create just enough of an inconvenience to encourage safer habits. Chevrolet said it recently carried out an internal study where the feature proved to increase seatbelt use among adults by 16 percent compared to the typical chiming audio reminder most cars rely on.
"Buckle to Drive is Chevrolet's latest feature designed to encourage young drivers to develop safe driving habits right from the start," said Tricia Morrow, Chevrolet safety engineer. "Buckle to Drive is embedded in Chevrolet's Teen Driver system and is aimed at helping remind teens to buckle up every time they get behind the wheel."
The feature will be included in the 2020 Chevrolet Traverse, Malibu and Colorado. You can check out the promo video below.