Highways England is using the very latest technology to reduce the risk of commercial drivers being involved in accidents.
The virtual reality app – free of charge – has been made available to the commercial sector, and can be accessed via a smart phone attached to cardboard goggles.
It allows drivers to use the technology before actually getting behind the wheel and includes five different road safety scenarios on left and right-hand drive vehicles.
The technology has been developed by Highways England, the owner and operator of the majority of the country’s motorways and A-roads, to highlight the importance of adjusting mirrors that caters for driving a different way in the UK.
The scenarios of the app are: mirror adjustment, identifying vehicles in blind spots, joining a motorway from a slip road, overtaking, and tailgating.
John Walford is the Commercial Vehicle Incident Prevention Team Leader. He said this is one of a number of steps taken to improve safety on the road network.
“We have set ourselves the long term vision that no-one should be harmed while travelling or working on our roads, and within that it is doing all we can to help reduce collisions involving lorries because they tend to have a greater impact when they do occur.
“They most commonly occur when trucks change lanes or attempt to overtake and using this technology allows us to provide a realistic environment for commercial vehicle drivers so that they can experience the impact of not using their mirrors to check blind spots.
“It’s just one of the steps we’re taking to help improve safety for this valuable group of drivers and ultimately everyone who uses our network.”
This is yet another innovative piece of technology on show at the Commercial Vehicle Show at the NEC in Birmingham, where Highways England are handing out free headsets.
The exhibition this week has also highlighted the significance of waste collection vehicles.