THE NEXT LEVEL IN DRIVER TRAINING
PRELIMINARY RESULTS SIMULATOR BASED TRAINING TO REDUCE COSTS
This may depend upon your company or agency's expectations. If you want to have an expensive "toy" for the employees to play with you probably will not achieve much success. If you have a goal of reducing accidents and eliminating employee risk and train toward that goal you will realize the fruits of your labors. When the Texas Association of Counties (TAC) took possession of our FAAC dual cab driving simulator in July 2000 we had a primary goal of reducing auto liability claims for our member counties and a secondary goal of reducing Workers' Compensation Claims. Since that time we have conducted 19 training sessions involving 66 counties. The training sessions are from three to seven weeks at each location. We have trained 1,217 law enforcement personnel, 608 road and bridge truck drivers and 66 other county drivers. TAC instructors have logged 3,042 contact hours with law enforcement personnel and 2,359 hours with road and bridge and other county drivers.
Several years of statistics will have to be compiled and researched before we know for sure if the training has a lasting effect on county drivers. However, almost two years of statistics have indicated that the average trendline has begun a gradual down turn and we still have over 70 counties to train. The pool wide trendline shows a continual increase from January 1991 to August 2000 - prior to simulator training - and a steady reduction through April 2002. In one of our larger counties they have reduced auto liability claims by 55% since the training. In the previous 18 months they reported 110 occurrences and in the 18 months following the training they reported 49 occurrences. In August 2000 member counties reported 43 occurrences and by April 2002 member counties had reported an average of 35 occurrences per month. This is an 18% reduction for the 21-month period since we started simulator based training.
With FAAC Incorporated's system, I truly believe TAC is on the right road to reducing auto liability claims and costs associated with county employees injured in automobile collisions. TAC is fortunate to have a Board of Directors with the vision to move forward and embrace new training techniques. Simulator based training is not the least expensive method of training and the initial cost is a concern, but as more drivers are trained the cost per participant becomes more in line with other forms of driver training. The unique aspect of simulator based training is that you can totally destroy a car in a collision, but with a click of the mouse you are back in business and no one is injured.
Simulator & Training Specialist
Texas Association of Counties