Remember when a driver would announce to passengers that they weren’t going anywhere until everyone put on their seat belts? Well, General Motors is taking that a step further.
GM made an addition to its Teen Driver Mode called Buckle to Drive. This means a driver will be unable to shift out of park until the seat belt is buckled.
Buckle to Drive was implemented in the 2020 Colorado, Traverse, Malibu and Canyon, as well as the 2021 Equinox and the 2022 Blazer as part of Teen Driver Mode. Drivers can expect to see Buckle to Drive in more 2022 SUVs and full-size trucks, such as the 2022 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra.
Buckle to Drive features on some 2023 models will require the driver and front passenger seat belts to be fastened before a car can be shifted out of park. Even items such as briefcases, grocery bags and laptops on the passenger seat could trigger the feature.
As reported by thedrive.com and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the national rate of seat belt use in 2020 was 90.3%. NHTSA also estimates seat belts saved 14,955 lives in 2017, and 2,549 more could have been saved if everyone had buckled up.
Regarding teenagers, NHTSA claims that in 2019, 55% of 13- and 14-year-old passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes were known to be unrestrained.
Buckle to Drive can be disabled in the settings menu on the infotainment screen, but for some fleet vehicles, Buckle to Drive cannot be turned off.