This week, at Lifesavers National Conference on Highway Safety Priorities, the largest gathering of highway safety professionals in the United States, Virtual Driver Interactive demonstrated their driver training simulator. This driver training simulator, named One Simple Decision, is the first commercially available simulation-based impaired and distracted driving simulator. The simulator, designed for young drivers, is a good example of gamifying the education experience to keep participants engaged and interested in the material and concepts being presented.
|Distracted Driving Simulator|
In addition to driving simulators being helpful for young drivers, Saving with Simulators, a recent article in Fleet Owner Magazine, presents several advantages that driving simulators provide to tractor trailer operators. Interviewed in the article is Don Osterberg, Senior VP of Safety and Security at Schneider National. Don says that since they started using simulators in 2005, the carrier’s crash rates have been reduced by 32%.
“The ability to use repetition is the key. We can practice things over and over and over in a simulator at a much faster pace than in an actual truck.”
And their is considerable savings that accompany virtual training as well. Don explains that, based on his experience, one hour of simulator-based training equals about four hours of real-world training in an actual truck. One hour of real-world truck training consumes about 2.5 gallons of diesel fuel, so Don calculates that through simulation-based training he can reduce training costs by $40 per hour, based on fuel consumption savings alone.
“There’s also the wear-and-tear we’re saving on transmissions, engines, wheels, and everything else on a real truck – all while providing a way to increase time spent learning to shift, maneuver in poor weather situations, etc,” Osterberg noted. “It’s a win-win-win for us.”
Driving training simulators do not require expensive consumables like diesel fuel and oil, do not increase engine-use hours on real-world equipment, and leave real-world equipment available for billable work.