TECHBYTE (WCBI)- We’re in the middle of the 100 Deadliest Days of driving.
The time between Memorial Day and Labor Day is when most teens get killed behind the wheel. Let’s see how one car company is using tech, to help keep that from happening, and keep drivers safe.
Many people killed in car crashes were not wearing seatbelts.
Chevrolet Safety Engineer Tricia Morrow say that’s why they developed the “Buckle to Drive” feature, to get teens to buckle up.
“When the teen gets in the car, if the vehicle’s on, and they’re not wearing their seatbelt, if they go push on that brake to shift, the shifter will actually be locked, and not let them shift into drive until they put their seatbelt on, really giving a strong reminder of the importance of wearing their seatbelts,” said Morrow.
That feature is one of several available in Chevrolet’s Teen Driver system, which has been around since 2015.
“It just requires activation. When you activate a teen key, which is easy to do through the driver information center, teen driver is then active every time you turn the car on with that key. What happens is, when you get into the vehicle, it just offers a little bit more peace of mind for the parents, knowing that with teen driver active, the radio will mute if the driver and detected passenger are not wearing their seatbelts. All the active safety features which we know work, and we know reduce crash speeds and reduce crashes altogether, those are all defaulted on,” said Morrow.
When parents set up the teen key, they can set up certain features in the system.
“They can also set the top vehicle speed to 85 miles an hour, set speed alerts between 40 and 75 miles an hour, and then when the teen goes out, all of this information is recorded. So when they come back, what it offers the parents is a data driven report card to have a conversation with their teen,” said Morrow.
Another safety feature both teens and adults can take advantage of, is the Rear Seat Reminder.
Morrow says they developed it in response to the tragic heat stroke deaths we see each year.
It’s tied to the use of your back door.
“If you open your rear door, simply put, we think you’re putting something in there, and at the end of your journey, we’ll give a reminder – rear seat reminder, look in rear seat. It’s that simple. That’s just what we want you to do. Take a look back there. It could be your gym bag. Nobody likes to go into work and forget their laptop, or forget their leftovers, but most importantly it could be your pet or a child in that backseat,” said Morrow.
Many GM vehicles also have other safety features like forward collision alert, a lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and rear view cameras.
“When it first came out, maybe customers didn’t really think they needed it, or didn’t really accept that feature, and now, I don’t know how many of us would park without it. Just a really great example on how these features are so useful, and how, with customer acceptance, you’ll see them being put across the board as standard features,” said Morrow.
You can bet vehicles across the board will continue to get safer, and more high tech.
If you’d like to learn more about the Teen Driver Technology, go to ChevyTeenDriver.com.