Highways England has launched a new VR-based smartphone app which simulated the view from a truck cab on a busy motorway and educates truckers what they can and can’t see from their cab.

The app simulates five scenarios, which is hoped will help to increase awareness for blind spots and create an overall improvement in road safety – particularly among truckers. Some of the scenarios which are simulated by the app include:

• Joining a motorway from a slip road • Overtaking and tailgating • And many more including offering a choice of left and right-hand drive truck cabs.

It is hoped that the app will also help teach foreign drivers that they need to adjust their mirrors and drive differently when they come to the UK. The technology could also benefit private drivers by giving them ‘a sense of what commercial vehicle drivers experience every day’.

“We have set ourselves the long-term vision that no-one should be harmed while travelling or working on our roads and within that is doing all we can to help reduce collisions involving lorries, because they tend to have a greater impact when they occur,” said John Walford, Highways England’s commercial vehicle incident prevention team leader.

“They most commonly occur when trucks change lanes or attempt to overtake and using the technology allows us to provide a realistic environment for commercial vehicle drivers so that they can experience the impact of not using their mirrors to check blind spots. It’s just one of the steps we’re taking to help improve safety for this valuable group of drivers and ultimately everyone who uses our network.”