The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) recently partnered with the Georgia Department of Public Safety about plans to advance a program to educate young drivers on driving safely near commercial motor vehicles.
This week, the THP brought their one-of-a-kind “Teens and Trucks” driving simulator to the Georgia Department of Public Safety to show off its capabilities and guide the agency toward implementing their own truck safety program to benefit Georgia teen drivers.
The driving simulator allows teens to test out various road interactions with commercial vehicles in a safe and educational environment. Teens get a realistic driving experience thanks to multiple video monitors, a steering wheel, pedals, and adjustable seat. Teens who get into a crash even experience a vibrating seat. For many young drivers, the hands-on simulator experience is a wake up call about the dangers they could face on the road if they’re not paying attention.
As most driver’s education courses do not provide much specific instruction on sharing the road with semi trucks, the “Teens and Trucks” program is a valuable resource for young driver.
THP says that there is currently no driving simulator like theirs in use in the nation.
Skills learned by teens in the driving simulator could go a long way towards cutting down on traffic fatalities. According to the Tennessee Highway Safety Office, motor vehicle crashes end more teen lives than cancer, homicide, and suicide combined, and teen drivers are 50% more likely to crash in their first month of driving.
THP’s “Teens and Trucks” program was created in collaboration with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, the Arizona Trucking Association, and the Arizona Department of Public Safety, and American Trucking Associations.