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Local Drivers Ed Classes – Georgia native Luke Pye was 18 years old and was walking with his high school friend on the road when he was cut off by a pickup truck. He turned the car towards the guard, avoiding the surrounding cars and following traffic.

In many ways, the afternoon meeting can be avoided. The couple were among more than 41,000 people who lost their lives in a car accident in the United States in 2007. But they walked away with only two injuries. Today they got married and gave birth to their four-month-old son.

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Pye believes that driving a simulator is largely a matter of luck. “The rowing captain at my high school taught me to stay calm and think clearly in difficult situations,” he said.

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Most of the schools across the country do not teach any education, but those who do teach it, teach it in forms that have been around for decades. A Georgia man has been trying to change that for more than a decade. After the death of Alan Brown’s 17-year-old son Joshua in July 2003, he engineered and sought a law known as “Joshua’s Law.” Brown’s son, Joshua Brown, was driving a boat down the road in the rain at 40 miles per hour and hit a tree. “Almost nothing” was offered to help train his son to deal with such driving conditions, said the elder Brown, president of the Joshua Brown Foundation. “With pre-teens they can do the same thing over and over again until they know exactly what they’re doing.” In the case of Jesus Brown, this type of training means he doesn’t know how to drive 40 miles per hour in heavy rain. In Pye’s case, he knows skid control and how to turn off the steering wheel quickly when things go wrong.

After his son’s death and the enactment of Joshua’s Law in 2005 in Georgia, Brown installed six simulators at Cartersville High School, where Pye attended, the first school in the state to adopt them. Today there are thousands of simulators in state schools.

Before Joshua’s law, high schools in Georgia didn’t offer driver’s education, Brown said. Of Georgia’s 416 high schools at the time, Driver’s Ed was just nine. They used a program developed in the early 1950s, Browne said, that refers to pilot programs across the country. Since then, the cars have sped up. There are more cars on the road. The possibilities of technology from Snapchat to Google Maps are endless, and yet among high school students across America, driving skills have not evolved.

Joshua’s Law raised the penalty for motor vehicle violations by 5 percent, and provided funds to install “modern” driver’s education in Georgia high schools. This new education consists of five components: simulation, interactive course and curriculum, risk awareness, parental involvement and after-foot training.

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“I believe the simulation and modern driving education I did in high school helped save my life.”

“I believe the simulation and modern driving training I did in high school helped save my life, it gave me confidence behind the wheel – every state should use it,” said Pye, while he was thinking about the afternoon he had the accident.

Driving simulators can take many forms. For business use, one of the most popular parameters is the office model Office, which is usually set up at home, for about $7,000. It comes with a pillow and a screen protector. with gas and break pedals. The most expensive model is the fully equipped model, which costs between $10,000 and $20,000, which looks like a driver’s car and includes real car parts down to the ignition switch.

Steve Mochel, president of Connecticut-based Green Light, a driving program that complements traditional training with heavy-duty driving. .

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The driving simulator replicates the real events in all kinds of situations including vehicle control, inspection and hazard detection, parallel parking and hydraulic system. Other conditions include distraction and impaired driving. It will simulate driving at different times of the day and in different weather conditions, for example, recommending how to look good through visual and verbal instruction. In a modern driver simulator, there are up to 300 different simulated situations that teach the cognitive leadership skills needed to navigate complex situations and traffic, including communication and on issues, risk perception, decision making under time pressure, and common security strategies; according to Mochel These skills are different from traditional driver training, which is appropriate for the decision of each situation and traffic conditions during driving.

States are hard to ignore. Driving simulators were installed in 147 Georgia high schools between 2005 and 2007, with funding provided by the Joshua Act. Since the implementation of the simulators and updated driving programs, there has been a reduction in youth deaths of about 60 percent, or 181 student lives per year, according to Brown and data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. and Disease Prevention compiled by the Georgia Bureau of Disease Control. of Highway Safety. In Gwinnett County, one of the most populous counties in Georgia, the number of youths tied to cars dropped from 23 in 2006 to just five in 2011, according to a study by Atlanta State University-Kennesaw.

Research in other parts of the country has reported similar findings. In January 2013, a researcher at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, showed a statistical decrease in the number of cars among local high school students who participated in a virtual simulation. Over six months and one year, researcher Peter Ekeh compared a group of student drivers who used a simulator to improve driving on the road to a group of students who did not use the simulation. His research found that a group of students who included simulator training had fewer crashes and no car accidents over the course of two periods, with more than a quarter of the group’s drivers becoming proficient after one year.

Pye is now a Navy SEAL and a graduate of the United States Naval Academy. He noted that throughout his life and even in his career he was simulated as a form of training in flying, sailing, and deploying missiles, guns, and cannons. “The military uses simulation a lot because it’s more cost-effective, and it allows you to identify and prevent injuries,” he said.

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Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, who crashed his American Airlines flight into the New York River in New York in January 2009, saved all lives, he added. He said he repeatedly trained the plane through simulation to give it a “natural instinct” to think outside the box. He allowed him to land on the water, since no other option was possible at that time. “Flight simulator training and team building helped us solve this problem in 208 seconds,” he said.

Pilots are trained to conduct simulator training every 9-12 months to prepare for rain, snow, ice, fog, wind, and other types of weather, as well as emergencies such as engine and engine failure. water pressure. “Simulators allow pilots to practice and become proficient in situations that rarely occur during real flight, so that in the event of an unexpected attack, It will not be the first time they have seen this kind of challenge,” he said. he explained. .

But when it comes to driving, concrete doesn’t make it into mainstream education, even though car crashes are the number one killer of young people in the United States with nearly 3,000 deaths each year, according to the CDC. By comparison, about 44,500 US soldiers were killed in the Iraq war between 2003 and 2012, according to iCasualties.org, which tracks the deaths and injuries of coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. During that time, more than 43,000 young people in the United States died in car crashes, according to data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Sullenberger said, “What the company needs to do is improve driver education. What we’re doing now is a hobby.” “If the number of people who died in car crashes were lost from flying, it would be the same as plane crashes almost every day without surviving. We wouldn’t accept that on a plane. But we accept it in driving in public.”

“If the number of people who die in a car accident is subtracted from the number of people who die in an airplane accident, it will be the same as almost no one who survives in an everyday accident.”

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Some private companies across the United States are slowly starting to implement simulation. UPS, for example, has used a training simulator for additional driver safety training, and the results are good. When UPS started with the idea of ​​incorporating a simulator into its driver software, it worked with Sacramento-based Virtual Driver Interactive, another company UPS has been working with for the past year.

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