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.