Simulator practice would make perfect say parents

Monday, 1 November 2010
Parents of Australian teenagers say their learner drivers practice would become better and safer drivers if they learned basic driving techniques in a computer simulator than the roads.

That’s been the feedback to emerge from the national On The Safe Side’s tour of the driving simulator hosted by Lend Lease shopping centres across the country.

From August, at shopping centres from Mackay in Queensland to Perth in Western Australia, shoppers were invited to use the simulator which has 25 different Australian driving scenarios. Each driver’s technique including steering, acceleration, gear changes and braking were recorded to review at the end of the session.

Gary Rigg, general manager of said the response from parents in particular was overwhelming.

“The response was the same all over the country – parents telling us that one of these simulators should be in every school and that simulator training should be an integral part of teaching new drivers,” he said.

“They know that in order to keep people safe on the road there has to be a different approach to driver training that has to take place at the start of a driving career.

Gary said parents like the concept that students could learn correct driving posture and steering technique in a controlled environment.
 “Parents we spoke to recognised that many new drivers are driving with some bad habits and acknowledge that as the primary instructor, their own bad habits were partly responsible,” he said.

Increasing numbers of research papers have examined the benefits of simulator training for drivers following the universal acceptance of simulator training in other occupations including aircraft pilots, train drivers and surgeons.

“I’ve been a driver trainer for many years and I see this as an excellent way to improve driver competence,” said Gary.

“And it would only take a small percentage raised from fines to ensure the states could provide these simulators to every school.”

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