Fleet Management

New Study Shows Limited Impact of Simulator Training for Truckers

February 12, 2014

SHARING TOOLS        | Print Subscribe

New research examining the safety impact of simulator training for truck drivers concludes it provides benefits for only up to a year.

The report, Safety Impacts of Truck Driver Simulator Training, from the American Transportation Research Institute, investigated the effectiveness of using customized truck driving simulators to target specific driving behaviors that have been associated with increased crash risk.

This study incorporated driving behaviors previously identified in ATRI’s Predicting Truck Crash Involvement report. The group then developed a series of “targeted” training scenarios for use in driving simulators. 

ATRI then partnered with motor carriers to collect driver safety and training data for drivers trained on both general and ATRI-customized scenarios. Finally, the safety performance differences between drivers were analyzed at six and 12-months post-training, based on the type of simulator training received.

The initial results at six-months post-training suggested that drivers who received the targeted simulator training had fewer safety incidents over time, but those effects dissipated at the 12-month mark. 

“While driver turn-over may play a role in the declining significance, the white paper suggests that carriers examine the frequency of sustainment training for drivers,” said ATRI.

A copy of this report is available from ATRI webiste

ATRI is the non-profit research arm of the American Trucking Associations.



  1. 1. Deborah Quackenbush [ February 13, 2014 @ 11:15AM ]

    I have read the entire report. I think your headline is misleading. While one can always say something negative about everything your report missed the fact (or your headline did) that there was a POSITIVE impact on safety and motor vehicle violations for 6 months after the training and the report attributed insignificant numbers after 12 months to lack of participants and NOT to the training. These outcomes are very common, with most driver improvement initiatives, and in my opinion should help all road users to recognize that there is no one "silver bullet" that sustainment training is the key. The FAA and the airline industry has long ago found the value of simulation training. Skill development, emergency or crash avoidance techniques along with developing fuel efficient driving habits not only saves lives but millions of dollars. The value of doing these types of training in a simulator have been researched and documented with positive results in skill and dollars saved. Modifying safety behavior is an elusive goal that many in traffic safety have been confounded by, myself included because we are, after all, human. Frankly I think if we get six months of additional truck driver safety behavior modification from a truck driving simulator training program we should be applauding. Perhaps your headline could have read "Truck Driving Simulation Training Has Positive Safety Impact" because it would be true.

  2. 2. Corky Rollins [ December 11, 2014 @ 07:31AM ]

    Deborah, Very well put!! We can do a redue after 6 months if that helps. Anything to help make the roads safer. Thank you.


Comment On This Story

Comment: (Maximum 2000 characters)  
Leave this field empty:
* Please note that every comment is moderated.


We offer e-newsletters that deliver targeted news and information for the entire fleet industry.


ELDs and Telematics

sponsored by
sponsor logo

Scott Sutarik from Geotab will answer your questions and challenges

View All

Sleeper Cab Power

Steve Carlson from Xantrex will answer your questions and challenges

View All