by Rich Wojtczak, Owner DrivingMBA
Paul Walker died in a horrendous one-vehicle collision with a couple of inanimate objects in the form of a light pole, followed by a tree. The driver of the vehicle was an accomplished race car driver, and had experience driving exotic cars such as the one they died in. According to one source, the vehicle was only traveling at 40 to 45 mph when it crashed, which is pretty unbelievable, given the severity of the crash.
Imagine, then, the newly minted driver with very limited exposure to any unusual events, encountering for the first time that vehicle heading straight toward them, on the wrong side of the road. The first (and most deadly) reaction is to slow down reality by vigorously applying the brake. The likely result: a head-on collision.
No amount of training and drilling on proper scanning, lane position, or space cushion, can ever prepare you for what you really need to do in that case: use the steering wheel effectively to get out of harm’s way.
There are very few ways to experience that situation and learn from it, and the most cost effective is on a high fidelity simulator that allows you to have the experience, perhaps suffer the consequences of an incorrect response, and then have the opportunity to try again.
The DrivingMBA Defensive Driving program was developed specifically to address those types of very rare, but very deadly, occurrences. We stress personal and vehicle limitations by demonstrating those limits in a safe environment that allows for do-overs.
It is not a game, but a real teaching tool. Using replay capabilities, the instructor, on a one-on-one basis, can point out what happened, and what could have been done to avoid the problem. You just can’t do that any other way that I know of, and that is why airline pilots are required to go through simulation courses on a regular basis.