Chevrolet is offering an new industry-first safety feature to encourage Teens to wear their seat belts. It’s called Buckle to Drive and is part of Chevy’s Teen Driver technology.
Buckle to Drive is standard in the 2020 Chevrolet Traverse, and when active can prevent the driver from shifting the vehicle out of park if the driver’s seat belt is not buckled. Buckle to Drive is only available through the vehicle’s Teen Driver mode and builds upon Chevrolet’s Teen Driver system, introduced in 2015, as another step to help teen drivers stay safe on the road.
I’ve been a huge fan of Teen Driver for years, as well as another terrific setting called Rear Seat Reminder, which alerts people if they put something (like a child) into the back seat.
Buckling your seatbelt is the number one action drivers can take to protect themselves in a crash, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Tragically, teens have among the lowest rates of seat belt use. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the majority of teenagers involved in fatal crashes are unbuckled.
“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.”
Concerned about the risks of not buckling up, Chevy says it conducted extensive research in the area. The new Buckle to Drive feature was based on a recent internal pilot study of a similar feature that Chevrolet offered to select fleet customers. Chevy also says a study conducted by the found that the feature increased the seat belt use of adults who occasionally use a seat belt by 16 percent compared to the standard audible chime seat belt reminder in a similar Chevrolet vehicle.
“Safety is our number one priority at Chevrolet,” said Morrow, the mother of a teen driver. “I come to work every day with my children in mind because there is nothing more important than their safety. My hope is that Buckle to Drive will help guide more young drivers to wear their seat belts and encourage positive conversations among teens, their peers and parents.”
Chevrolet’s Teen Driver system with the Buckle to Drive feature will be standard on the 2020 Chevrolet Traverse, Malibu and Colorado, all arriving this summer.
How Buckle to Drive Works:
The Buckle to Drive feature is available only when the vehicle is in Teen Driver mode.
If the vehicle is on and the driver’s seat belt is not buckled, the feature is designed to not allow the driver to shift out of park for up to 20 seconds. When the brake pedal is pressed, the driver will hear an audible alert and see a message in the driver information center that reads “Buckle seat belt to shift.”
Seat Belt Fast Facts:
Using your seat belt is the number one thing you can do to protect yourself in a crash.
Compared with other age groups, teens have among the lowest rates of seat belt use.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens.
In 2016, 2,433 teens in the United States ages 16-19 were killed and 292,742 were treated in emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes.
In 2017 alone, seat belts saved an estimated 14,955 lives.
Of the 37,133 people killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2017, 47 percent were not wearing seat belts.
About Chevy’s Teen Driver:
Teen Driver provides parents with a vehicle report card that that helps encourage safe driving habits and provides a way for parents and teens to discuss safe driving practices.
The report card tracks:
Distance driven, maximum speed traveled, over-speed warnings issued, wide-open throttle events and the number of times other safety systems were activated, including stability control, traction control and antilock braking.
To use Teen Driver mode, parents can enable the feature by creating a PIN in the Settings menu that allows them to register their teen’s key fob. The Teen Driver settings are turned on only when a registered key fob is used to start the vehicle.
When active, Teen Driver automatically mutes the radio until driver and front passenger seat belts are fastened. The radio system’s maximum volume can also be set to a lower level.
If the vehicle is equipped with certain active safety features like Forward Collision Alert, they are automatically turned on.
Parents can select a speed warning (between 40-75 mph) that if exceeded activates a visual warning and audible chime.
Parents can choose to limit the maximum speed of the vehicle to 85 mph.