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GM’s new seatbelt system won’t let you drive until buckled up

General Motors’ new seatbelt technology detects if driver and passenger are strapped in before moving off.

If you think those ‘please fasten your seatbelt’ chimes are annoying then wait until you get a load of this. GM has developed a new Belt Assurance System that actively prevents the driver from selecting a gear to pull away until both front occupants are wearing their seatbelts.

GM to ensure motorists and their passengers strapped in before they drive away
GM to ensure motorists and their passengers strapped in before they drive away

The technology uses the same senor as the airbag to evaluate if someone is sitting in their seat, as well a the sensor inside the seatbelt buckle recepticle to figure when they’re safely strapped in. If not, a message will be displayed on the car’s infotainment display. Once the system detects driver and passenger are wearing their seatbelts, the vehicle will allow you to drive.

General Motors is working with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on it’s “Click It Or Ticket” road safety awareness campaign. Unlike the UK, not all US states have made wearing a seatbelt a legal requirement over the age of 18. Here in the UK, a reported 95 per cent of drivers wear their seatbelt. This is incredibly high in comparison with the US figure of 87 per cent.

Wearing a seatbelt significantly reduces the number of deaths resulting from road traffic accidents (RTAs). According to the NHTSA, in four years 63,000 lives have been saved by seatbelts being used. 

Here in the UK, GM is represented by the brands Vauxhall and Chevrolet, although General Motors intends to pull Chevrolet from Blighty’s shores by 2016.

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