Road Safety News
 

Virtual technology used to deliver 'fatal four' message

Monday 27th June 2016

Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) is utilising ‘virtual technology’ to help deliver the next stage of its 'Fatal Four' road safety campaign.

LFRS says the ‘Virtual Reality Fatal 4 - 360 (VF4 360)’ gives young drivers the ‘most realistic experience’ of a road traffic collision from the front seat passenger's perspective.

The technology incorporates 360 degree filming and is designed to show young drivers the dangers of the roads and what can happen if things go wrong. It will be used in tandem with the VF4 Car, a ‘state-of-the-art’ car crash simulator.

Users wear a virtual reality headset and experience a full crash scene extrication from the arrival of the emergency services, while being talked through the process by a paramedic.

Launched in September 2014, the Fatal Four campaign highlights what LFRS describes as the ‘four biggest dangers whilst driving’: inappropriate speed, using a mobile phone, not wearing a seatbelt and drink/drug driving.

The campaign is delivered to young drivers across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland using a car-crash simulator and the campaign website.

The website offers a range of free resources such as fact sheets and ‘hard-hitting’ videos, and includes conversations between a bereaved mother and a convicted young driver who was at the wheel when her son died.

Paul Speight, watch manager at LFRS, said: “In our bid to engage with young drivers we have produced a new road safety film designed to be viewed through the new virtual reality headset.

“Through the 360 filming technique the wearer can look around the whole scene. Unlike traditional TV where you look at a screen in front of you, you have the ability to look left and right and see everything that is happening around you.

“We worked with James Evans from First Car who we enlisted as film makers and the end product not only exceeded ours and their expectations, but all the people who have viewed the film, no matter what age, have given positive feedback.

“We are evaluating this project and to date have entered over 200 completed forms from students, teacher/tutors, road safety practitioners and fire service personnel giving us a broad spectrum of feedback.”

 

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I find this shocking. Im guessing the people using this kind of technology to do this didn't consider the horrific mental health implications of exposing young people to trauma in this way. I work with young people and adults in therapy and I can see the wider implications for this from a much wider perspective. Virtual reality is used to trick the mind that an event is real. There is an emotional, psychological and physiological response to being exposed to a trauma such as a car accident as many survivors of such events will already be aware of. Many people spend years in therapy trying to work through the issues caused by these experiences. The road safety agency need to consult with mental health professionals about their techniques before messing with people's minds. I feel this is also liable case waiting to happen as vicarious traumatsation is a very real condition.
Vicki, Warwickshire

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It seems again that one vital aspect of road safety has once again been overlooked. More important than any of the four commonly understood ones. What a shame but with this one recognised and included as the FATAL FIVE much greater good would have come from its inclusion.

It is responsible for as many and I would say more than all the other collective causations of the so called Fatal Four. Once again it has been dismissed. Put aside. Forgotten. Not recognised. What a shame.
R.Craven Blackpool

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