July 31, 2017 at 1:54 PM
Virtual reality has been hitting the headlines more and more over the past few months, as the technology has, at last, reached that tipping point where it can become a viable purchase for anyone. Headsets can now be purchased for a few hundred pounds.
However, it is not just about the ultimate gaming experience, as a recent initiative by a road safety group in Carmarthenshire demonstrated.
The Institute of Advance Motoring, Dyfed-Powys Police, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service and the Welsh Ambulance Trust teamed up to organise the event, which took place at Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli.
Participants donned virtual reality headsets to join a group of youngsters on a car journey. They acquired first-hand experience of a number of driving behaviours that are all too common behind the wheel, along with a 360-degree immersive view.
Ultimately, they witnessed the tragic consequences that unsafe driving can have. The film is a disturbing and sobering experience that carries a strong and important message.
Welsh government statistics show that youngsters in the 16-24 age group represent 12 per cent of the population, yet they account for more than 30 per cent of car passenger casualties.
Emir Davis is the manager at Road Safety Watch, which helped organise the event. He commented that those in this age group should be among the better drivers on the road, as they have recently passed their tests and have not fallen into bad habits.
However, distractions from exterior sources such as mobile phones and peer pressure from friends to drive faster or take risks can have a devastating effect.
Davis hopes this event will increase awareness among youngsters and drive a change towards positive peer pressure and responsible driving habits.