2020 Car Models Have New Safety FeaturesJune 17, 2019
General Motors has introduced Buckle to Drive, a new safety feature that locks the vehicle in park until its driver fastens their seat belt. It will be standard on certain Chevrolet and GMC cars and trucks, including the GMC Canyon and Cadillac, and the Chevrolet Colorado, Traverse, and Malibu.
Teen Driver Injury Rates
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that teenagers often do not wear their seat belt; fewer than 60 percent of high school students said they wore them as passengers. The injury rate for young drivers is high. In 2016, the CDC reported that close to 300,000 teens ended up in hospitals with car accident injuries, and almost 2,500 lost their lives. A GM Safety Engineer stated that safety is the company’s number one priority, and that there is nothing more important than keeping children safe.
Buckle to Drive
The Buckle to Drive feature is designed to help new drivers remember to wear their seat belts. It temporarily blocks the car’s transmission from shifting out of park when the driver is not buckled up. It also informs the driver to fasten their seat belt. After 20 seconds, the car will operate normally. This feature is an addition to the Teen Driver package, a built-in system that allows parents to adjust settings in the car via the teenager’s key fob. The parent can set a maximum driving speed, speed alerts, and other ways to keep track of their teen’s driving behaviors.
Other Attempts to Improve Seat Belt Use
Before the Teen Driver program was introduced, there were previous attempts to encourage drivers and passengers to use their seat belts. GM had a similar feature on some of their fleet vehicles, and in the 1970s, ignition interlock technology was introduced. These devices prevented cars from starting until drivers buckled up. Consumers protested until Congress passed a law to limit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s reach. Many seat belt laws have been passed since then, with a corresponding increase in seat belt use.
Highway Loss Data Institute Research
The Highway Loss Data Institute conducted research on this topic and said that drivers that do not want to wear seat belts might drive while the alert is beeping. However, they will not have a choice if the car will not start. Research indicated that Chevy’s system drove up seat belt use to 16 percent, when compared to vehicles that only issued sound alerts.
The auto insurance industry has supported research, which indicates that better warning sounds might encourage people to use seat belts more frequently, with estimates over 30 percent. Two main reasons why individuals do not buckle up are when they are not driving far, or because they simply forget, according to researchers. Other research is being done to improve vehicle safety features, with new technologies focusing on automatic emergency braking systems and driver monitoring that can alert drivers when they become distracted.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Offer Trusted Legal Guidance for Car Accident Victims
Drivers of all ages get into car accidents, and teenage drivers are more at-risk because of their inexperience. If you or a family member needs legal representation for a car accident, do not hesitate to contact the qualified Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. Call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online for a free consultation.
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