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James Madison University Study Results Show Driving Simulators Effective

Virtual Driver Interactive Simulators and One Simple Decision Software® Used to Assess Health Belief Model Variables for Distracted Driving Prevention

Early results of our study provided feedback that a majority of students felt their experience with the simulator was very similar to real life and now consider texting and driving a risky behavior.”
— Theresa M. Enyeart Smith, Ph.D., CHES at James Madison University
EL DORADO HILLS, CALIFORNIA, USA, December 6, 2017 / -- Virtual Driver Interactive, Inc. (VDI), the leading provider of simulation-based driver training solutions, announces that James Madison University conducted a study using VDI simulators and One Simple Decision software to determine the effectiveness of driving simulators on distracted driving prevention. James Madison’s study confirms that driving simulators using first-person, consequence-based training may be a powerful tool to add to the arsenal of strategies designed to prevent distracted driving, which is a prevalent, unsafe behavior leading to unnecessary deaths.

“We interact, daily, with college students, who are a high-risk population linked with distracted driving," said Theresa M. Enyeart Smith, Ph.D., CHES at James Madison University. “College students have been described as dependent, obsessed, even addicted to their phones. We see this behavior and hear the frightening stories related to distracted driving incidents involving students, or others in their age group, using their phones. As health professionals, it is our responsibility to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving, specifically texting and driving. The One Simple Decision simulator has helped us start the process of opening students’ eyes about their driving habits as a first step to enable them to be safer drivers. Early results of our study, using the One Simple Decision simulator, have provided feedback that a majority of students felt their experience with the simulator was very similar to real life texting and driving and that they now consider texting and driving a risky behavior. This is an important and essential measure toward positive behavior change—no texting and driving—which can ultimately save lives.”

One Simple Decision is VDI’s attitudes and behavior based driver training program. Drivers are immersed in the personal experience and live through the consequences of their driving decisions, resulting in changed behaviors associated with distracted and impaired driving. Actual law enforcement, judicial and medical personnel interact with the driver to modify driving behavior by illustrating the consequences of choices made behind the wheel. The program not only scores driving infractions but also focuses on the actual legal, physical and psychological costs associated with impaired driving.

The James Madison University study was recently presented at the November annual meeting of the American Public Health Association. The study identified attitudes of 90 students, having completed the pre-test, simulation, and post-test. The pre-test included questions on demographics, driving behaviors, and knowledge and attitudes related to distracted driving. Participants then drove the simulators using One Simple Decision program and immediately following, completed the post-test survey. The post-test survey included eight questions to measure knowledge, attitudes and behaviors related to distracted driving. Simulation was successful in uncovering the difficulty of maintaining safe driving practices while cell phone use was involved.

About Virtual Driver Interactive
Virtual Driver Interactive is well known for its innovative simulation-based training. From training corporate fleets to new teen drivers, VDI delivers effective training. VDI offers highly portable, affordable and effective solutions. Titles include Virtual HD® (Virtual Hazard Detection), designed specifically for corporate fleets; One Simple Decision®, a deterrent to distracted or impaired driving; Virtual DE™ (Virtual Driving Essentials), a driver training and assessment program teaching critical skills; and Boating Skills VT™ (Boating Skills Virtual Trainer), industry’s leading simulation-based boating safety program. VDI is a privately-held company headquartered in El Dorado Hills, California. For more information, please call 877-746-8332 or visit

Pam LeFevre
Virtual Driver Interactive
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