Chevy Adds Seatbelt Usage Tech for Teen Drivers

General Motors Co. Chevrolet unit is adding a “Buckle to Drive” feature to its Teen Driver safety system, preventing vehicles from shifting out of park for 20 seconds unless the driver’s seatbelt is fastened.

The Buckle to Drive technology debuts this summer in the 2020 Chevrolet Traverse crossover vehicle, Malibu sedan and Colorado pickup truck.

Chevy introduced the Teen Driver system, which allows parents to monitor and control certain driving behaviors, in 2015. The Teen Driving mode is automatically activated when a keyfob registered to a teen driver starts the vehicle.

The system automatically mutes the radio until the driver and front passenger’s seat belts are fastened. Parents also can set the vehicle’s maximum speed at 85 mph and have alerts sounded if other speed thresholds are exceeded.

In addition, a report is generated that monitors vehicle speeds, distance traveled and wide-open throttle events. The system also tracks how often safety systems, such as stability control and antilock brakes, are activated.  

Chevy notes that American teenagers have below-average seatbelt usage rates. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.