UGA Research Suggests Driving Simulators Can Reduce Number of Police Accidents
GEORGIA – According to an online article published at news.uga.edu, new research from the University of Georgia suggests that use of training with driving simulators can reduce the number of police vehicle accidents. Use of simulation-based training can save local governments a substantial amount of money, the research suggests, on top of saving lives.*
The report says that police car wrecks account for the largest law enforcement expenses to municipalities. Every year, local governments lose a significant amount of money because of traffic accidents involving police officers. Local Government Risk Management Services (LGRMS) wanted to see if driving programs that use simulation could reduce police-involved accidents and thereby save governments money.
LGRMS, which is part of the Association County Commissioners of Georgia and oversees risk management for Georgia municipalities, has such a program in place in some areas that has been popular with officers. The agency wanted to know whether it would be cost effective to expand the program to additional areas of the state.
The agency asked the Dudley L. Moore Jr. Chair of Insurance at the University of Georgia, Rob Hoyt, to analyze the costs. Hoyt looked at figures related to police vehicle accidents both before simulated training and after.
“What we did find was very compelling evidence around frequency,” Hoyt said. “The training was highly correlated with reducing the number of accidents relative to size of the department. We went back and got data on how much it cost to provide this training and compared that to the savings through reduced accident costs and found that it was producing a 12-to-1 return on investment.”
Based on the research, LGRMS has been expanding its program. The research was also published in the Journal of Insurance Regulation and has caught the interest of law enforcement agencies in the state of Alabama.
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