The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recognizes that teenage driving accidents remain the #1 cause of death among those under 18. This is an important public health concern. We are currently participating in a Center for Disease Control (CDC) funded study to train high school students using virtual reality driving simulators. Advantages of training in virtual reality before “in vivo” exposure include relatively low cost compared to automobiles, realistic images that lead to immersion, and complete safety while learning to navigate the roads.
High school students in the San Diego area volunteer to include virtual reality sessions as part of their driver’s training. The study will track the driving behavior of these subjects for two years following completion of training to determine if VR lowers accident rates, DUIs, and traffic-related fatalities. At the time of publication, over 120 high school students had been trained using these virtual reality driving simulators.