The Nebraska State Patrol is partnering with the state’s largest auto insurance company to promote teen driver safety.
State Farm purchased a driving simulator and transportation trailer in an effort to reduce the number of young drivers involved in serious injury and fatality crashes.
Captain Paul Hattan, commander of the State Patrol’s Troop B, says the Ultra Cockpit Driving Simulator provides a safe way for young drivers to experience scenarios they might encounter on the road.
“It’s a seat that you sit on with computer screens and it’s got analytics and technology that gives you a real live feeling like you’re driving a car,” Hattan says. “We also have implemented cell phones and other distractions that will allow the student to realize what happens when you’re driving and have those distractions in your car.”
Hattan says State Patrol officials will work with safety officers across Nebraska and haul the simulator throughout the state where the device will be part of driver-safety programs.
“It’s on an enclosed trailer that we’ll pull around the state,” he says. “We’ll line that up with our community safety officers and they will put on those programs to local high schools and other local events that request the simulator.”
The $26,000 simulator features more than 200 driving scenarios and exercises that test drivers’ skills and draw attention to the complex thought process required for safe driving.
State Farm Insurance officials made the announcement this week at a news conference on the campus of Northeast Community College in Norfolk.
Safety program requests can be made through the State Patrol’s web site at StatePatrolNebraska.gov. Click the “services” tab.
By Paul Hughes, WJAG, Norfolk