December 5, 2003

Young Drivers of Canada introduces new driver training software

Hamilton, Ontario – Young Drivers of Canada, the largest driver training organization in Canada, announced the inclusion of a sophisticated, user-friendly, interactive software program for use on personal computers.

“DriveFit” adapts itself to the user’s specific strengths and weaknesses determined during the assessment portion of the program and designs a training plan to help the student see the road quicker, clearer, sharper and safer.

“DriveFit trains your brain to improve driver related cognitive skills, which are key to driving and surviving,” said Rick Rigby, Young Drivers of Canada, CEO. “We recognize that there is no substitute for knowledge and behind-the-wheel experience. However, research has shown that by training mental skills it is possible to significantly improve a driver’s ability in key areas: judging distance and speed, concentration, avoiding distractions and reacting more quickly to hazards,” Rigby added.

Numerous studies have shown that the number of beginner drivers involved in crashes is far greater than their percentage of the driving population. This imbalance is attributed to two factors: the driver’s age and inexperience.

The DriveFit Program improves 12 essential cognitive skills during the training stage:

  • Assessment: Accurately estimate time, speed and distance.

  • Avoiding Risk: Avoid taking unnecessary risks.
  • Changing Plans: Change or delay an action once started.
  • Confidence: Accurately assess your own abilities and performance.
  • Divided Attention: Pay attention to several factors simultaneously while driving.
  • Focus: Determine the most important among a variety of simultaneous visual and auditory signals.
  • Hand-eye Coordination: Process information from the eyes to the brain and send instructions to the hands, resulting in accurate steering responses.
  • Obeying Traffic Regulations: Compliance with traffic regulations.
  • Reaction Time: The ability to respond in time to avoid a collision.
  • Short-term Memory: Recall of relevant information related to driving.
  • Visual Scanning: See and correctly interpret relevant information while driving.
  • Width of Field of Vision: Spotting potential problems in all areas of the driver’s field of vision – left, centre and right.

“DriveFit”, in combination with in-vehicle lessons conducted by a Young Drivers or Collisonfree! instructor, will maximize the students’ driving abilities and prepare them to pass their road test,” Rigby said. Young Drivers students keep the DriveFit Program CD after their instruction is completed and can use it to keep their cognitive driving skills sharp.

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