QUT researchers are trying to find out why so many young men have car crashes.

They’re using a high-tech simulator to learn more about the attitudes of young male drivers.

Brent Gray reports.


It’s a state of the art driving simulator.

It’s being used in a study aimed at reducing the death toll among the young, particularly men.

David Rodwell, Researcher: “What we’re looking at is actually a series of interactions that you have with other people out on the road more than just controlling the vehicle.”

Drivers up to the age of 30 make up a quarter of Australia’s road toll.

QUT researchers are focussing on the group to find out why.

Their simulator combines computers, projectors, and a platform capable of moving and twisting in three dimensions.

David Rodwell, Researcher: “This research is aimed at the types of thoughts and feelings that they have while they’re driving and if that has a bearing on how they behave.”

The study aims to understand more about how young males drive on urban roads.

The drivers are encouraged to verbalise their opinions of others while behind the wheel and how they interact in traffic.

David Rodwell, Researcher: “We’ll be able to either maximise the positive type of experiences that the drivers have or minimise the negative types of thoughts and feelings that they have.”

The car is immersed in a virtual environment including a 180 degree front view, a simulated rear view and surround sound to include environment and engine sounds.

The researchers are calling for young male volunteers who spend at least five hours a week behind the wheel.

Brent Gray, QUT News.