If you were asked what the best way was to tackle the road death toll, would the answer be to put a teenager behind the wheel of a heavy vehicle?
Don’t worry, it won’t be a real heavy rig. A pilot road-safety campaign planned by the City of Bendigo in partnership with Deakin University aims to give future motorists and budding truck drivers a sense of what it feels like to be in control of an 18-wheeler when a random vehicle cuts in front of your rig. And the best part, is that it’s all done through virtual reality (VR) technology. The program makes total sense; regardless of whether you’re trucking through the city or the country, it’s blaringly obvious how many road users have no idea how to act around trucks and trailers.
The #GetTruckWise campaign, which is due to launch in 2020 will use VR based on real-life scenarios to help learner drivers get a better understanding of the road rules that apply to them when encountering a heavy vehicle.
The campaign has come around after a number of safety concerns were identified in the Bendigo Freight Study: How goods are moved around Greater Bendigo. The Freight Operators who were interviewed as part of the study were most concerned about the lack of awareness of how hard it is to stop a fully loaded truck with only a few car spaces to avoid collision.
It is the first young driver program of its kind to use virtual reality to:
- Increase passenger vehicle driver awareness of the physical constraints imposed on heavy vehicle drivers
- Improve driver knowledge of how to behave on the road using real life situation involving heavy vehicles
- Lift the freight and logistic industry profile to the rest of Australia
Bendigo mayor Margaret O’Rourke said in an interview with RACV that the aim is “to help young drivers to be aware of the very real challenges facing truck drivers every day and hopefully help them gain more empathy about sharing the road safely and not taking risks”.
Safety is a way of life at The Drake Group so we look forward to seeing what new innovations in this space await us all in the future. Talk to the team at The Drake Group today about our safe, reliable and hard working heavy haulage trailers.