Airlines have been using virtual reality to train pilots for decades, way before the technology even became mainstream. Now, driving schools can leverage this technology as well to educate road-users about the importance of road safety.
There were more than 40,000 fatalities on US roads in 2018, representing a 1% decline from the previous year. According to the National Safety Council, driver behavior is a contributing factor to the staggering number of deaths on the road.
Traffic fatalities are preventable. By harnessing the power of recent technological advancements, communities can create a culture of safer driving.
So, how can VR save lives?
Educating People on Road Safety
Virtual reality is one of the newest solutions that authorities are exploring for promoting safe driving practices. It can be more effective than the usual driving manuals. Due to its immersive nature, it can show road-users the hard-hitting reality of traffic accidents without actually putting them in danger.
Driving schools can leverage the technology to help drivers of all ages understand the consequences of irresponsible road behavior. VR can be more engaging for students, especially younger drivers who are likely to practice unsafe driving behavior. Furthermore, it can simulate road situations that are too dangerous to practice in real life.
Virtual Reality Applications for Promoting Safe Driving Practices
Your Life – Your Choice
In Ireland, the Donegal County Council created a VR initiative called Your Life – Your Choice. It educates young drivers within the age of 16 to 25 about the importance of road safety. The virtual simulation shows students some of the most common mistakes of young drivers that could lead to fatal accidents. For example, they will see how texting while on the road and over-speeding can easily lead to serious collisions.
To further emphasize the lessons, the VR simulation shows how accidents unfold from the perspective of a passenger. Students will see the aftermath of a road accident, with emergency services arriving at the scene. It’s a sight students will never forget. Moreover, it’s powerful enough to motivate them to prevent it from happening.
It Can Wait
AT&T’s It Can Wait campaign is an eye-opening virtual experience. It shows the dangers of distracted driving through different perspectives, starting with a mother who talks about how she lost her son to distracted driving. In the simulation, you will hear the story of a regretful man who fatally injured two innocent people in a car accident. You will hear a survivor’s story about distracted driving. You will also hear how accidents unfold from the eyes of a first responder.
The campaign encourages its viewers to take the no-texting-while-driving pledge. Moreover, it inspires its viewers to advocate for safe driving practices.
ClassVR is another powerful virtual solution for promoting road safety. Using the program, trainers can manage multiple virtual reality headsets. They can easily activate immersive and educational driving experiences with one click of a button. Trainers can also deliver road safety messages to a larger audience in a more efficient manner.
Similar to Your Life – Your Choice, it highlights the seriousness of road safety by displaying the dangers of irresponsible driving behavior. Police, fire services, and other local authorities can use the program to shape driver attitudes and promote road safety.
VR driving simulations can educate students about the dangers on the road. It can deliver hyper-realistic experiences of the consequences of dangerous driving. In doing so, it encourages motorists to think about their behavior on the road and practice safe driving.