Before you can drive your own car and travel the world, you need to obtain a driver’s license and gain the necessary skills. You may learn to drive on your own, but it’s best to get formal driving lessons for safety and compliance purposes.
When it comes to formal driving education, there’s often the theoretical part and the practical part. The former is in the learning facility, and the latter is usually on the road itself. For such a significant skill as driving, it can help to have a few more training materials at hand. One of these is the simulator, a virtual way of practicing the use of one’s skills. But what is their value to the learning process, exactly?
Try Various Scenarios
One advantage of using simulators in learning or practicing driving skills is that participants can get to try responding to different scenarios that one can encounter on the road. There are hundreds of them, and no one ever expects the majority of them to happen, and this can leave people unprepared when they’re not aware of it. Using simulators similar to what they use in flight training courses can help drivers become alert of possible occurrences, especially when they find themselves in emergency situations.
Practice Away From Actual Danger
Some scenarios that you can play out in simulators can quickly lead to more danger if you don’t act fast. You can’t possibly expect to encounter those kinds of situations repeatedly, so you would need a way to do so in relative safety. When you use a driving simulator for practice with these situations, you can do so in peace, and without damage to anything or anyone. Admittedly, real life is going to be different from virtual practice, but at least you’ll be able to get an idea of what you should do.
Have Fun and Learn
Some people get nervous when presented with the real life act of driving right after learning about it in the classroom. As a result, they don’t perform as well as they could in the practical test. With simulators, they can get a feel for it first and gain confidence as they go along. It doesn’t help to have doubtful drivers on the road, after all. They’ll likely freeze when they need to act instead, and this can put them in danger.
Improve Existing Skills
It’s not just driving students that can benefit from using simulators. Even experienced drivers can use it and still learn something. Or at least, they can hone the skills that they already know. This is especially true for those who haven’t been driving in a while due to circumstances. While not quite perfect, they can get up to speed without having to worry about putting a car and themselves into awkward or dangerous situations.
While simulators cannot beat real-life experience when it comes to getting used to the act of driving, it can certainly become an interesting teaching and learning tool. It can help provide clear instructions to those who are inclined to learn by doing, without the variables that can throw them off. It can also help prepare less than confident students in facing the challenge of the real road, as well as assist returning drivers in getting back on track.