Every Maryland driver must complete a driver’s education course and behind-the-wheel training before they can earn their driver’s license. These requirements aim to help prepare drivers and increase safety on our roads.
In addition, Baltimore recently launched a new program to enhance driver training and prevent car accidents.
Using virtual reality to challenge and train drivers
Together, the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Baltimore Metropolitan Council created a new effort in the “Look Alive” campaign. It is a virtual reality simulation that places drivers in various circumstances that most commonly result in deadly crashes and pedestrian accidents.
This simulation could be helpful for all drivers, but it is generally designed for:
- Newer drivers;
- Drivers who speed; and
- Those who do not follow traffic laws.
The goal is to show these individuals the very real consequences of reckless driving in a safe space.
How effective is virtual reality in preventing car accidents?
Back in 2015, Toyota showcased a virtual reality simulation that allowed teens to safely experience just how dangerous distracted driving is. And several other states besides Maryland have started to use virtual reality to train teen drivers and prepare them before hitting the road.
Although there are no statistics about how effective virtual reality is in reducing risks and accidents on the road, it seems to be a popular training method. It also offers several benefits, including:
- A first-hand experience of dangers on the road, without putting anyone at risk;
- An engaging and immersive simulation for all drivers and students, regardless of age; and
- An education for drivers about safety and what to do in hazardous situations.
Safety comes with learning and practice. Learning in a safe space through action can help drivers better understand the hazards on the road and drive safer.