If your teen tends to be lax about buckling up, GM’s Buckle to Drive safety feature will keep the car in park until he does…and maybe save his life in an auto accident.

Accident-Prevention Features of Upcoming Models

Every year, thousands of people in the United States are injured or die in motor vehicle accidents. In response, car manufacturers are continuing to focus on safety and offer new high-tech safety features.

Here are some of the newest features set to hit next year’s vehicle lineup from Toyota, Lexus, and GM.


Toyota Motor Corporation plans to add two new safety features to its 2020 vehicles.

The first is an auto shut off feature that will automatically turn off the engine after a set amount of time if the engine is idling. The auto shut off, which will include enhanced audible and visual warnings, is an upgrade of the current two-step alert reminding the driver to turn off the engine. An additional reminder will be deliverable via a forthcoming smartphone app.

Also upcoming from Toyota is automatic park, which will shift the vehicle into park or apply the electronic emergency brake (in vehicles that have one) if the driver leaves the vehicle without first shifting the transmission into park. The feature is activated when the driver’s-side door opens and the driver’s seat belt is unlocked.


Lexus plans to offer its Safety System+ suite of driver safety aids as standard equipment on all 2020 model year vehicles. The system consists of four technologies:

  • A forward-collision warning system that detects pedestrians. If a driver ignores the warning, the vehicle can brake on its own.
  • A lane-departure warning system that uses a camera, warnings, and other feedback to alert a driver that the vehicle has drifted from the center of the lane.
  • Adaptive cruise control that uses radar and cameras to match the speed of the vehicle ahead.
  • Automatic high beams with a sensor to keep them illuminated until oncoming traffic is detected.

An updated version of Lexus’s latest model, the 2020 GX 460 SUV, will also include these new safety features.

General Motors

GM is introducing Buckle to Drive, which keeps the vehicle in park until the driver buckles their seat belt. The feature will come standard on some Chevrolet and GMC cars and trucks, including the GMC Cadillac and Canyon and the Chevrolet Colorado, Malibu, and Traverse.

Buckle to Drive will help new drivers remember to fasten their seat belts by temporarily preventing the car’s transmission from being shifted out of park when the driver’s seat belt is not fastened. It is an addition to the Teen Driver package, a built-in safety system that enables adults to adjust maximum driving speed and track driving behavior via the teenager’s key fob.

A recent study completed by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) found that Buckle to Drive increased seat belt usage among adults who only sporadically use a seat belt by 16 percent compared to the standard audible seat belt notification in a similar Chevrolet vehicle. According to the IIHS, Buckle to Drive could save nearly 1,500 lives per year if all vehicles were equipped with it.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Colorado, contact personal injury attorney Dan Rosen at (303) 454-8000 to schedule a free consultation to discuss the details of your case.

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