Raising the bar with bus simulation training

Posted on May 6, 2011 by Louie Maiello - Also by this author

Readers most likely are not familiar with my past work with driver training simulation, so I want to devote this month's space to a brief description of what I discovered working with this technology and what it enabled me to do within the training department I was affiliated with.

Simulation is a training episode — it isnot a reality and it is never a perfect replication. It enables you to selectively emphasize what is important. The purpose of simulation training is to evaluate the judgment of the operator. Judgment is the mind's ability to come up with the correct action to stave off disaster. Judgment cannot be taught, only evaluated. Will the trainee make a correct judgment to stave off disaster? Knowing how to blend supplemental simulator training into an existing training curriculum will lead to favorable results and positive benefits to a training program. Attempting to build a curriculum around the simulator can be a costly and unfavorable venture.

The simulator enhances training by giving the student the opportunity to repeat a particular skill set until mastery sets in. The result is a better-trained operator better prepared to face actual high-risk driving situations as well as identify and avoid many potential collisions.

The simulator also enhances the instructor's capabilities. It exposes training inconsistencies among the trainers. Uniting instructors as one voice in the administration of a standardized curriculum ensures that the best students rise to the top. It also identifies those who must seek other types of employment. Utilized properly in the hands of a knowledgeable, enthusiastic and creative instructor, benefits will come in the form of collision reductions, lower claims, a decrease in the student washout rate and an increase in the safest students qualifying for operations.

Three reasons for not recognizing the benefits that should be achieved with simulation training include a lack of:

  • Upper management buy-in
  • Instructor accountability
  • Pilot programs

Solution

Ensure that there is a buy-in from upper management, and have a sound plan to have a smooth and thorough transfer of simulator knowledge and application theory from the instructor/upper managerial ranks when personnel changes occur. This is as important to have in place as the simulator itself, to ensure that the simulator does not become idle and that it produces benefits for the training program. The simulator should continue in the role it was purchased for, despite departmental personnel changes.

Case Studies

When looking at those transit agencies that do supplement their curriculum with simulation training, their positive results stand on their own with regard to a reduction in washout rates, right- and left-side collisions, pedestrian contact and collisions overall.

Conclusion

Probably the most enhancing element of simulation training is allowing a student to see his or her results when not applying the best corrective measure in avoiding a particular situation, then allowing the student a chance to remedy the problem in a low-risk simulated environment until the solution has been demonstrated. Remember, reality sets in when a student can pause and reflect on what was not done correctly and what will have to be done differently in the future to avoid a possible reoccurrence, or even a more serious involvement.

In case you missed it...

Read our METRO blog, "Transit provides heightened point of view" here.

 

View comments or post a comment on this story. (4 Comments)

More Safety Corner Blog Posts

August 16, 2017

'Practical Drift' is Bus Safety's Silent Adversary

Each year people are injured or killed in incidents where following a standard operating procedure (SOP) or using the available safety equipment could have prevented the injury or saved their life. Unfortunately, we are all prone toward a tendency to gradually drift away from the correct or proper way of doing things — the precise way we were taught to perform a job or function.

June 29, 2017

Addressing sleep apnea in public transit operations

Sleep apnea is a common disorder affecting nearly 12% of the U.S. population, in which airway blockages cause shortened breaths or pauses in breathing while one sleeps.

May 24, 2017

How Training Bus Instructors Can Improve Time Management During Skill Development

As training bus instructors, have you ever found yourself nearing the end of your training day and realized you may not have ample time left to cover all basic skill development tasks scheduled for that day?

March 15, 2017

The Challenge of Reporting Near-Miss Bus Operation Incidents

Nobody questions the value of reviewing vehicle “near-miss” incidents; however, there are plenty of skeptics out there harboring doubts that bus operators will actually report themselves committing unsafe acts. Often, when the subject of self-reporting is being discussed, it is greeted by swells of suppressed laughter by those familiar with human nature.

February 8, 2017

Training Bus Skill Development...Lengthy, Costly, and Risky

A well thought out flow of what curriculum should be introduced, as well as its level of difficulty for each day, will easily begin to determine those students that are standing out from their peers as either progressing favorably or lagging behind the other training bus students.

See More

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (4)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close