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.”