I started using the Virtual Driving Interactive Simulators in 2018 because I had myself learned to drive on a simulator and was concerned that we were putting drivers on the road with minimal exposure to scenarios that required better judgement and clear thinking. Because I had known the value of the simulators firsthand, I launched my business to help new, existing, and unsure drivers build confidence in their ability to overcome any apprehension they were working through to achieve driving success.
At first it was difficult to explain to callers what the simulators did and how they helped, it took several “free trials” to bring in the clients and to get people to understand how simulators helped with developing real-life skills. Once the word got out and I started using Google advertising, I began receiving calls from parents that were concerned about their teens getting behind the wheel of a car with only a few hours of practice. I had numerous parents call because their teen had already had a collision and they were only starting with their driver’s permit. As the parents sat and watched their teens make smart decisions based on the simulator’s programs, I heard many sighs of relief from both parents and students.
One population that gravitates toward the simulators are parents of high functioning Autism teens or young adults, teens with ADHD and/or ADD that are on medication, and others that have other learning challenges. To date, I have worked with over a dozen clients on the spectrum and many that have gone on to successfully achieve licensure. I have one student that began in January 2021 and crashed each time he came in to do the lessons. He continues to come to date because he enjoys the skills he has learned and has shown tremendous mastery in learning driving skills on the simulator. His favorite is the Free Drive because he gets to choose where to go, change the weather conditions and he especially enjoys practicing U-turns because he gets to practice the “hand-over-hand” turns. His transformation from when he first sat at the simulator to the work he is currently doing now would not have been possible but for the desire he has and the work that we do together to learn how to handle his “car”. He may not be ready for licensure for a while, but he has shown tremendous success and understanding of what it means to be a responsible driver.
My format for helping my students, of all ages (I’ve had everything from teens to senior citizens), is to engage with them while they are doing the lessons. I do this because there are many questions that come up as they are using the simulator and I like to ask them what they know or what they think a given scenario requires of them and why. There is a dialogue that occurs because it helps them to hear what, why or how they should do a certain task while driving to supplement the material in the lesson(s).
I highly recommend the program and continue to find great satisfaction in receiving text messages from former students sharing that they have their licenses and the appreciation they have for the help they received on the simulator.”
Lina Kreter, Owner, The Driving Experience, Driving Simulator