VR App Promotes Commercial Drivers' Awareness of Blind Spots

In addition to mirror adjustment, the app's scenarios include identifying vehicles in blind spots, joining a motorway from a slip road, overtaking, and tailgating. These scenarios are offered for both left- and right-hand drive vehicles.

Highways England, which operates, maintains, and improves England's motorways and major A roads, has developed a free app to raise commercial vehicle drivers' awareness of their blind spots. The virtual reality app aims to reduce the risk of drivers being involved in accidents.

The app is usable on a smart phone attached to a pair of cardboard goggles and focuses on the importance of adjusting mirrors for driving a different way when in the United Kingdom. In addition to mirror adjustment, the app's scenarios include identifying vehicles in blind spots, joining a motorway from a slip road, overtaking, and tailgating. These scenarios are offered for both left- and right-hand drive vehicles.

"We have set ourselves the long-term vision that no one should be harmed while traveling or working on our roads, and within that it is doing all we can to help reduce collisions involving lorries because they tend to have a greater impact when they do occur," said John Walford, Commercial Vehicle Incident Prevention Team Leader. "They most commonly occur when trucks change lanes or attempt to overtake, and using this technology allows us to provide a realistic environment for commercial vehicle drivers so that they can experience the impact of not using their mirrors to check blind spots."

The virtual reality app is part of the safety initiatives taken by Highways England to prevent commercial vehicle incidents. It can also be used by non-commercial drivers to gain an understanding for the location of commercial vehicle blind spots.

"It's just one of the steps we're taking to help improve safety for this valuable group of drivers and ultimately everyone who uses our network," Walford said.

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