Firefighters in West Springfield, Massachusetts, are using a high-tech driving simulator to test their abilities behind the wheel. Firefighting is a difficult, dangerous job, it’s well known, but one of the lesser known difficulties facing them is driving to the scene of the fire or accident. They are often forced to dodge motorists who don’t hear the sirens because their radios are turned up too loud or drivers who don’t see the fire engine approaching because they’re too busy sending text messages. The high-tech simulator focuses on these types of obstacles that are often faced by firefighters and other emergency respondents, such as police officers and emergency medical technicians. Pedestrians who are unaware of their surroundings also pose a challenge to drivers of public safety vehicles, who are often required to drive high above the speed limit.
The fire department is hoping this simulator will help fire engine drivers remember to remain alert in order to spot and avoid these and other types of potential auto accidents. According to a study on the effectiveness of these driving simulators, there is, on average, a 10 to 25 percent reduction in traffic collisions after a department has completed the program.
As a Riverside car accident lawyer, I hope this program succeeds in making the streets safer for everyone. If you or someone you know has been hurt in an auto accident, please consider contacting a Riverside personal injury attorney.