Commercial Trucking Driver Simulation Training

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted the Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) to examine the reasons for serious crashes involving large trucks (trucks with a gross weight rating over 10,000 pounds). The total LTCCS sample of 963 crashes involved 1,123 large trucks and 959 motor vehicles that were not large trucks. The 963 crashes resulted in 249 fatalities and 1,654 injuries. Of the 1,123 large trucks in the sample, 77 percent were tractors pulling a single semi-trailer. Of the 963 crashes in the sample, 73 per cent involved a large truck colliding with at least one other vehicle.

As the below chart highlights, the overwhelming cause of crashes was driver error or poor decision making. Within the study, “Non-Performance” was defined as “the driver fell asleep, was disabled by a heart attack or seizure, or was physically impaired for another reason”. Poor Decision Making was classified within three key areas: (1) Recognition – the driver was inattentive, was distracted by something inside or outside of the vehicle, or failed to observe the situation adequately for some other reason: (2) Decision – for example, the driver was driving too fast for conditions, misjudged the speed of other vehicles, or followed other vehicles too closely; and, (3) Performance – for example the driver panicked, overcompensated, or exercised poor directional control.

Estimated Numbers of Trucks in All Crashes, by critical reasons

Critical Reasons
Number of Trucks
Percent of Total
Driver Error 68,000 87%
Non-Performance 9,000 12%
Poor Decision Making 59,000 75%
Vehicle 8,000 10%
Environment 2,000 3%
Total Number of Trucks Coded with Critical Reason 78,000 100%
Total Number of Trucks Not Coded with Critical Reason 63,000  
Total Number Involved in Crashes 141,000  

Despite this knowledge, most driver training has focused on learning how to better control the vehicle and following the rules of the road. Training needs to focus on how people think while they drive and then add the appropriate interventions on vehicle control. This allows the training to address the key causes of collisions. Our simulation based training allows the focus to move to the decision making process first, then vehicle control.

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Commercial Trucking Driver Simulation Program Details:

drive for life can provide a fully outsourced training program utilizing MPRI simulation technology, proprietary SPOT™ training curriculum and specific training scenarios designed to build the experience base for drivers among a range of road, weather and traffic conditions. The MPRI sim technology effectively replicates vehicle handling dynamics for a wide variety of vehicles and we match these vehicle dynamics with our SPOT™ curriculum and various training scenarios/situations.

Our program allows for the joint use of drive for life instructors and your trainers to optimize the training experience. We will provide training for your trainers to ensure they are fully capable of delivering the curriculum and training interventions.

Training can be conducted at our training facility in Mississauga or on site at your locations. drive for life can provide up to 3 simulators plus one instructor for each session.

We also maintain a data base assessment of participants to help you understand and track improvements in your organization. Our proprietary SPOT™ scorecard establishes driver profiles within your fleet and allows you to track and monitor results against various profiles.

The foundation to the training curriculum offered is built upon the proprietary SPOT™ training methodology: Scanning, Predicting, Options analysis and Taking Action. This methodology has proven pedigree among a wide range of driver groups including novice and experienced drivers, commercial truckers, military and emergency services groups such as police and fire personnel. drive for life designs specific driving scenarios for reinforcement of the SPOT™ training curriculum. We will work with you on key training objectives and ensure the driving scenarios incorporate your training needs.

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