Driver training in upcoming economies

In many countries that used to be so-called ‘third world’ countries, the standards of living increase and investments in infrastructure are rising. Also, in a number of other countries that go through a transformation politically and economically, investmentments in roads and the traffic system increase as well. Still, traffic deaths remain high in these countries and this is mainly because of the culture and habits of drivers. the focus on safety is usually low during driver training, and driver training in general is rather poorly developed. During driver training the focus is typically  on vehicle handling skills and not on safe traffic participation. Example are India and China. In these countries the pressure on the system is enormous: there’s a big increase in people who start to drive and the traditional driver training sector can not deal with that. In order to reduce traffic deaths in those countries:

  • driver training has to improve drastically: not only focus on vehicle handing skills but focus much more on traffic rules and traffic participation
  • increase the standards of the driver exams and use standardized tests for that to cope with the increased demands and limited capacity of the sector
  • change the traffic culture where people don’t follow the traffic rules. This can also be done during driver training but also via more efficient enforcement

If the traffic system is chaotic, learner drivers have a very hard time during their driver training. Because they have a problem with doing all driver tasks simulteneously: steering, checking the mirrors, anticipation far ahead, gear changing, lane keeping, use of indicator, etc. they can be overwhelmed by the chaos on the road. And then the training efficiency will be low.

In a car driving simulator, they can practice all tasks efficiently, because a driving simulator offers a much more structured environment in which to learn the skills needed for safe driving. Also, standard tests with traffc interactions are much better implemented in a driving simulator, compared to on-road exams.

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