Major Car Manufacturer Debuts Feature To Give Parents More Control Over Teen's Driving Habits, But Not Everyone Is Happy About It

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May 23, 2019

According to The National Safety Council, more than half of all teen drivers will be involved in an automobile accident before they graduate from high school.

But that’s not all.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that "motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teenagers, and teens have the lowest rates of seat belt use compared with other age groups.”

With statistics like these, it’s no wonder parents worry whenever their teen drivers get behind the wheel. In response to the frightening risks that families with children face every day, one car company is taking action to hopefully, create a safer driving experience for all.

Chevrolet is debuting a new feature allowing parents to program a vehicle to a special mode designed for teen and inexperienced drivers to help increase their chances of arriving home safely after being out on the road.

“Chevrolet announced Tuesday it is rolling out a new ‘Buckle to Drive’ feature this summer in the 2020 Chevrolet Traverse, Malibu and Colorado ‘designed to not allow the driver to shift out of park for up to 20 seconds’ if the driver's seat belt isn't buckled.”

The feature, first introduced in 2015, will now be available on all Chevy models.

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"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," said Tricia Morrow, Chevrolet safety engineer, in a statement.

The seat belt feature is not the only option for parents who want to take their teen’s driving safety more seriously.

The device comes with other ‘subtle’ reminders to ensure that a teen's driving experience is as safe as it possibly can be.

“Teen Drive mode already automatically mutes the radio until driver and front passenger seat belts are fastened and also allows parents to set maximum speed and audio volume limits.”

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First, parents are able to set the maximum speed the car will go. Parents simply enter a private PIN into the system and activate the feature. Then, the driver will be incapable of going more than two miles-per-hour over the number programmed.

Even better, though, is the ‘Teen Driver Report Card’ that allows parents to check the vehicle to see how their child has been driving.

The idea is not popular with everyone, however.

Some say it ‘blunts teen spirit’ but most people think it’s a great idea.

And the statistics bear out the notion that we should all be wearing our seatbelts, but all too often, teens simply disregard the vital practice.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that only 59% of high schoolers in 2017 reported that they always wear a seat belt.

“And in 2016, 58% of drivers ages 15 to 20 killed in drunken-driving crashes were not wearing a seat belt.”

According to Chevrolet, here is how the ‘Teen Driver’ and ‘Buckle to Drive’ systems work:

* Chevrolet’s Teen Driver system with the Buckle to Drive feature will be standard with the 2020 Chevrolet Traverse, Malibu and Colorado, which will be released this summer.

* The Buckle to Drive feature is available only when the vehicle is in Teen Driver mode.

* To use Teen Driver mode, a parent 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.

* Parents can set a maximum speed limit of the car up to 85 mph and can select a speed warning between 40 to 75 mph that if ‘exceeded activates a visual warning and audible chime.’

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* Teen Driver offers an in-vehicle report card where parents can view how their teen drove the vehicle.

* 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.

*Learn more at ChevyTeenDriver.com

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