Driving simulators have become the latest craze for teaching learner drivers, driving skills. However, thereâ€™s great discord as to whether theyâ€™re advantageous or a hindrance when it comes to getting on the road. In this three part series, Book Theory Test Today will examine the advantages and disadvantages of the driving simulator.
Last year, I submitted a blog post titled – â€˜Driving Games Increase Chances of Passing Driving Test First Timeâ€™ â€“ in which a poll conducted by Privilege car insurance found that 73% of drivers whoâ€™d had experience of playing driving games, passed theory test and driving test first time.
I bring this up, because surely computer games can be likened to the latest craze that is the driving simulator. However, it appears that the benefits of a driving simulator are hotly contested, so I thought it would be a good idea to present the case highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of driving simulators. You can decide if theyâ€™re for you.
Advantage #1Â of driving simulators
Itâ€™s claimed, via a Dutch report, that driving simulators offer numerous advantages over real life road experience.
According to the report driving simulators offer greater control, reproduction of road scenarios and standardisation.
Simulators are capable of controlling virtual traffic, the weather and they can manipulate the road conditions in order to adjust the setting to cater for a learnerâ€™s training requirements.
An excerpt from the report reads: â€˜Purpose-developed scenarios enable learners to practice a large proportion of dedicated manoeuvres at any given time.â€™
â€˜Using a simulator means learner drivers can encounter different physical locations, but the driving conditions can remain exactly the same. This is hugely beneficial for creating standardised driving test and reproducible results. In contrast, real road scenarios are entirely randomâ€™, says the report.
Disadvantage #1 of driving simulators
The same report also emphasises a number of disadvantages associated with using a driving simulator. The first of these is â€˜simulator sicknessâ€™, a symptom among older learners using simulators, which has raised serious health concerns.
The problem also undermines the training effectiveness of simulators and prevents users operating them to their full potential.
However, technological advances and procedural guidelines have gone some way to alleviating the problem. An excerpt from the report reads: â€˜Experience shows that limiting the horizontal field of view, avoiding sharp curves or stops during driving, and using short sessions (â‰¤10 min) with sufficient rest breaks significantly reduces simulator sickness.Â
The Book Theory Test Today blogger says: â€œI have an opinion on driving simulators, but will reserve my thoughts for the final part of the series.â€
In the meantime check out the blog – â€˜Driving Games Increase Chances of Passing Driving Test First Timeâ€™.
Have you used a driving simulator? Let us know what you think â€“ leave a comment.
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