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Tennessee Highway Patrol Introduces New Simulator for Teen Driver Education

Tuesday, August 05, 2014 | 09:56am

TENNESSEE --- The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) today displayed the first of its kind teen driving simulator at the agency’s Training Center. The THP took a semi-trailer and converted it into a mobile driving simulator for teens. The trailer is another tool that the state’s highway patrol will utilize in its “Drive to Zero Fatalities” campaign.

The THP was awarded a grant from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to construct the semi-trailer, which is called the “Teens Share the Road Trailer”.  State Troopers will place an emphasis on instructing teens on how to safely share the road with tractor trailers

Teens can watch a 42” flat screen TV with sound bar on the outside of the trailer that will give them some insight about the simulator experience. The semi-trailer houses six individual virtual reality simulator stations equipped with steering wheels, brake and gas pedals, along with television monitors that wrap around the driver’s seat to make the experience as realistic as possible. Teens will receive individual instruction from a state trooper on board via headphones so each experience is his/her own.

Teens will be exposed to seven possible driving situations, specifically, distracted driving, stopping safely, reaction times, tractor trailers making wide right turns, the no zone areas of a tractor trailer, effects of cutting off a tractor trailer and the Move Over law.

By request, state troopers will take the simulator across Tennessee and educate teen drivers at high schools, high school sporting events, civic centers, etc.

The THP partnered with the FMCSA, the University of Tennessee, Tennessee Tech University, Semtech, Loyalty, Wrapartist and the Tennessee Trucking Association on the teen driving simulator.

For more information on scheduling the teen driving simulator, please contact the highway patrol’s Commercial Vehicle Enforcement (CVE) unit at 615-743-4971.

Photos accompany this press release.

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s (www.TN.Gov/safety) mission is to serve, secure, and protect the people of Tennessee.

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