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Latest Road Safety Campaign Subjects Students to VR Car Crash

Virtual reality-based technology to give students a gripping and real look at a car crash experience.

A new campaign involving virtual reality (VR) technology has been launched recently across Dublin schools with an objective of raising road safety perception amongst future drivers.

The campaign was launched by Aviva at the Trinity Comprehensive School in Ballymun. Paul McAuliffe, the Lord Mayor of Dublin was present at the launch event.

Leo Lieghio, an Irish Road Victims Association member, was also present during the campaign launch event. He spoke about losing Marsia, his 16-year-old daughter following a hit-and-run incident in 2005.

The school’s transition year students received VR headsets before being seated in a car’s passenger set. The car they are seated in collides with a farm truck due to being driven dangerously.

The crash footage shows one of the people dying in the backseat, as they are hurled out of the window due to not wearing a seatbelt.

The realistic VR video experience makes participants feel like they are seated in a car with other youngsters, as they are being driven on a country road. The footage shows the car’s driver showing his cellphone to the people seated in the back, and in effect, not focus sing on the road ahead.

The ensuing footage shows a complete loss of visibility. When the lights return, paramedics can be seen at the crash site, as people in the car are crying in agony and bleeding.

Lord Mayor Paul McAuliffe spoke to JOE regarding the VR-based safety campaign’s launch, remarking that using technology could prove quite beneficial in teaching the dangers of careless driving to youngsters.

The technology-driven experience is concidered as a stellar opportunity for young people to understand poor driver behaviour. I was shock upon learning that one amongst three people do not wear seatbelts. – Mayor Paul McAuliffe

He hopes that the message of safe driving can be conveyed effectively and reinforced to such an extent that people do not feel apprehensive to get out of a car that is being driven dangerously.

Mayor McAuliffe further elaborated that the association with Aviva and the VR technology is helping to achieve that goal. He revealed that the Dublin City Council has partaken in the road safety drive significantly, and praised the body’s officials for their efforts.

According to the Mayor, the speech given by Leo Lieghio was the most significant contribution to the event. He emphasised that the speech might be even more impactful than the VR technology, but admitted that the latter was quite important in dispersing awareness.

The VR experience programme was praised by Lieghio himself. He remarked that his child Marsia was the same age as many of the Transition Year students at the time of her death. Lieghio pointed out that his daughter did not get a chance to obtain her Leaving Certificate, or that to pursue her goal of studying to become a midwife.

Lieghio is hopeful that his daughter’s tragic story, coupled with the VR technology and safety training programme can leave a positive impact on the students.

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