John F. Martin for Chevrolet
Know a young driver who ignores your efforts to buckle? Chevrolet suggests you might try to see if they want to listen to another government figure: their car.
The car manufacturer introduces a feature, especially for teen drivers, who will temporarily block the car from shifting to gear if the seat belt is not bent. A message will alert the driver to buckle the safety belt to switch to gear.
After 20 seconds the vehicle will run normally.
The feature, which Chevrolet says is an industry first, comes standard in the 2020 models of the Traverse SUV, Malibu sedan and Colorado pickup truck. It will be part of the "Teen Driver" package, which can also be used to set speed alerts and maximum speed, including controls, and provide parents with "report cards" that track a teen's driving behavior.
Chevrolet explains how it works: "To use Teen Driver mode, a parent can activate the feature by creating a PIN in the Settings menu that allows them The Teen Driver settings are only turned on when a registered key fob is used to start the vehicle. "
Teenagers have among the lowest use of seat belt use, according to the Centers for Disease Control, with less than 60% of High school students say that they always wear safety belts as passengers. Per kilometer driven, teen drivers also have the highest risk of getting in a deadly crash.
Chevrolet security engineer Tricia Morrow, even the mother of a youth driver, said in a statement she hopes that the feature "will help more young drivers to wear seat belts and encourage positive conversations among teenagers, their peers and parents."
A similar feature was available to some fleet customers who bought GM cars lately, but the new teen driver is an industry first for consumer cars, Chevrolet says.
Research from the Highway Loss Data Institute showed that Chevy's system for keeping the car in park increased use of the belt belt by 16% compared to a vehicle that only made a warning noise when a seat belt was loosened.
However, recent research from the institute, supported by the car insurance industry, has found better warning sounds – so the beeping lasts longer, or even continues indefinitely, can increase the use of the seat belt by more than 30%.  Senior author David Kidd, senior researcher at the institute, says the result was a surprise.
"We fully expected that limiting the vehicle function somehow would be more efficient than giving this ongoing piping," he says. "But when it comes to that, some of the main reasons people don't use a belt are because they forget or go a short distance."
However, Kidd notes that those who really oppose using seat belts may be more likely to be swayed by a car that does not move than a car that does not will stop pipe.
This was not the first time the automotive industry has tried to use technology to improve human behavior.
In the 1970s, when the use of the safety belt was much lower, the car manufacturers introduced ignition lockers to block cars from starting to the people hated them.
"There was so much backlash from consumers that Congress gave a law that could drastically limit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration can do," Kidd says. has laws that require the use of seat belts dramatically changed patterns of behavior; nationwide, use of the belt belt has increased from about 14% in the early 1980s to about 90% today, Kidd says consumers are still cautious about intervention, but it is Less resistance than it used to be.
And manufacturers are testing other ways cars can proactively promote safety.
Cars are increasingly designed not only to protect residents in a crash, but to prevent crashes from occurring. In some cases it means superior human input, as in an automatic emergency braking system that avoids turning on a pedestrian, in others it means hitting human behavior like me d a driver monitoring system that will notice when drivers are distracted or full.