I didn’t see that coming!” Famous last words after a crash. So why is that teens have the best vision and the best reactions but absolutely the worst crash stats? It comes down to scanning techniques. The more “focused” a person gets the more they tend to stare at a fixed point. Since teens realize they lack experience, they tend to narrowly focus their vision on the car in front of them. Good adult drivers realize that dangers and surprises tend to come from many places that are NOT in front of you:
– the pedestrian about to walk out into the crosswalk,
– the car approaching the intersection much too fast or
– the motorcycle that is about to pass you unexpectedly that you can only see in the rear view mirror.
So at VDI we decided that having a very wide field of view (sort of peripheral vision) is really, really important to learning safe driving. For our simulators, wow, you can look left and right and even “turn your head” to see way down the street. And we measure if you did! When we are done with them they KNOW to look all around, left, right, mirrors, and even behind the car before they get in the car. So from now on they might not see the note you left them about taking out the dog or cleaning up their room, but they will see that pedestrian!
by Bob Davis, CEO & President of Virtual Driver Interactive