Delaware’s first driving simulator, getting everyone prepared to be behind the wheel

DOVER, Del. – The Department of homeland security, Delaware Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement, the Office of Highway Safety, and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield introduced a new driving simulator in Delaware.

The simulator allows drivers to get behind the wheel while feeling what it’s like to be under the influence, distracted by a phone, or for those simply learning how to drive.

“I guess in my 35 years in law enforcement, this is about as realistic as it gets,” says Chief John Yeomans, with the Delaware Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement.

We’re told the simulator puts drivers to the ultimate test, “Everyone’s nervous because they don’t know what to expect, in fact when people come in they cannot believe that we have a full-sized inside of a vehicle,” says Thomas Mason, a simulation coordinator with Delaware Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement.

We got a chance to experience the simulator first hand; you get in your seat, do all of your pre-checks you’d normally do, seatbelt, window check, gages, and then you’re ready to roll. You get a 30-second demo to learn how to maneuver the car and get familiar with the steering. Once you’re comfortable, you’re given a scenario and one of the main focuses of this simulator is distracted driving.

“It’s probably an area that a lot of people don’t recognize in terms of the number of crashes that come from people texting and driving,” says Chief Yeomans.

With over 70 different cars to choose from and hundreds of scenarios, this simulator gives drivers a chance to learn to either adapt or learn when it’s wrong to get behind the wheel.

“We also wanted to take it to our citizens and different community groups we want to get in front of the alcohol industry,” says Chief Yeomans. He adds, “This will give us an opportunity to get the employees and organizations involved in alcohol service throughout the state the experience of the simulator to see what the effects are of serving alcohol.”

Mason tells us, he worked in law enforcement for over 20 years and a part of his job was fatal crash reconstruction, which he says helped him see the bigger need to help young teens and adults understand just how fatal it can be if you’re not prepared to be on the road.

“I’m used to seeing a lot of young kids, their lives perishing because they were driving or weren’t paying attention while driving, and all that could’ve been avoided.” Mason adds, “And if they make an error and they crash and have a collision course is in the simulator, they learn from it and that’s the key to teach people a better way to drive or make them aware of things they may not have been aware of in the past.”

We’re also told overall, this multipurpose simulator is going to help get better drivers on the road.

The simulator can travel all throughout Delaware, and if you’re interested in bringing the simulator to your organization or school-related event, just visit their website.

Categories: Delaware, Local News