Virtual Reality: Road Safety
Since April 2015, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (SWFRS) has attended over 1,890 road traffic collisions (RTCs) where there have been 39 fatalities and 867 rescues with injuries. The Service will be embracing virtual reality (VR) technology to raise awareness of the dangers on our roads and the Fatal 5, with a focus on using a mobile phone while driving.
SWFRS has found that 22% of its RTCs in the last 18 months have been between the hours of 3pm and 5:59pm, with 246 of those incidents taking place on ‘A’ roads.
The 360° VR video gives drivers the most realistic experience of a road traffic collision from the front seat passenger's perspective, with users experiencing a full crash scene extrication. The technology incorporates 360° filming and is designed to show drivers the dangers of the roads and what can happen if things go wrong, especially when being distracted and using a mobile phone while driving.
Shaun Moody, Head of Road Safety at South Wales Fire and Rescue Service said, “We need to do all we can to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads by engaging, informing and reminding them of the consequences of using a mobile phone while driving, as well as raising awareness about inappropriate speed, driving under the influence and not wearing a seatbelt.
“Careless driving not only has the potential to cause life changing circumstances for the driver or their passengers, but also passersby and other road users. By using new technology like the VR headsets we are ensuring the Service is keeping up with how our communities, especially younger drivers, are engaging and consuming safety messages. I’m looking forward to seeing how our communities react over the coming days, weeks and months.”
The campaign and the headsets have been officially launched today as part of the national Road Safety Week, where SWFRS will also be asking drivers to make the pledge to become safer drivers.