Driving Simulators: Why They Should Be Included in Drivers’ Ed for Teens

For many teens, driving is a symbol of independence. As such, man teens want to learn to drive as soon as possible to satisfy their craving for freedom. They can go anywhere they want without having to ask their parents or older siblings to drive for them.

But before they can even step in a vehicle to try driving, they will have to go through a drivers’ ed course for theoretical learning. In this course, they will learn the meaning of road symbols, proper driving protocols, and driving laws. This course is often taken as a lecture, which most teens find uninteresting.

To make things exciting, schools should include driving simulators in drivers’ ed courses for teens. This piece of technology can help driving students a lot, especially teens.

Better Way to Learn Driving Basics

Drivers’ ed classes are often lecture-type classes. So some students might have a hard time focusing and remembering lessons. This is where a driving simulation is beneficial. Since it looks and feels like a video game, students may be more interested and pay attention to their lessons. Simulators can serve as visual examples during the lecture.

Also, driving simulators mimic different vehicles. Students can try driving in a sedan, an SUV, a motorcycle, or a quad bike or ATV. It can also illustrate different kinds of layout depending on the model of a vehicle. As such, students won’t be overwhelmed when they finally step into a vehicle when they start their practical lessons.

Lastly, students can experience one driving scenario over and over. This repetition can help them translate their knowledge into skill.

Controlled Driving Environment

Teen drivers can try different kinds of driving scenarios through a driving simulator. For example, they can try driving through road layouts like the roads in their community. Students can also try unfamiliar road layouts to test their skills more.

In the real world, driving is not always smooth-sailing. Drivers will encounter different road conditions that can be unpleasant. Some roads are slippery and rocky. Drivers also have to go through strong rains or fogs at times, which may result in near-zero visibility.

With driving simulators, students can try driving through any environment they can imagine, even the most dangerous ones. Thus, they can vividly imagine what it would be like to drive under bad conditions. And in turn, they will know what to do if these situations do happen.

Keep Teens Safe

If drivers are not properly educated about what to do in dangerous driving situations, they might hurt themselves or worse, lose their lives. In 2003, a teenager named Joshua Brown died after hydroplaning and crashing into a tree. His parents blame inexperience for their son’s death. If Joshua had been properly educated on how to drive safely under the rain, he may have survived.

This circumstance can be avoided if teens are taught proper protocol when driving in harsh conditions. Through a simulator, teens can try these conditions safely. They’ll also understand the risks of driving in dangerous conditions, so they’ll know what to do if they experience them in real life.

Accommodates Different Types of Learners

driving a car

Driving simulators can suit the needs of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners. So, teens can easily retain information and effectively learn how to drive.

More than half of the population are visual learners. They can absorb information easily it’s presented through images and videos. Thus, the visuals in driving simulators promote better learning for visual learners.

The same is true with auditory learners. Thanks to technological advancements, simulators include realistic sound effects and background music that appeal to auditory learners. Lastly, kinesthetic learners will also enjoy learning with a driving simulator since they get to actually try using a steering wheel, a gear stick, and pedals.

Allows Gamification

Driving teachers can turn teens’ learning experience into games using driving simulators. For example, teachers may reward students if they reach a certain distance in driving without making any mistakes.

Some teens can be very competitive. So, gamifying the learning experience can help them become more motivated in learning how to drive properly. Also, driving simulator challenges can still benefit learners since they can have fun while learning.

Driving simulators do come with drawbacks. They may not always be accurate. They might also make teen drivers develop tunnel vision. But these shortcomings can be addressed when teens take their practical driving lessons anyway. The benefits of driving simulators far outweigh their drawbacks. So in the future, drivers’ ed classes should include simulators to help in nurturing expert drivers.

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