June 15, 2009
Josh Peterson

AAA Washington is piloting a new computer program designed to reduce accidents.

DriveSharp is the latest online tool for drivers looking to strengthen their safety skills on the road.

“The program is a computer exercise that helps improve reaction time, reduce your crash risks and increase your control when you’re behind the wheel” said Jennifer Cook, AAA spokeswoman.

There’s two parts to the sample version of this training program and here’s how they work:

A car or truck appears on the screen for about a second, and you’re asked to identify which vehicle you saw.

In the second part, two vehicles appear and you’re asked to identify which one you saw, and where the other vehicle appeared on the screen.

“It’s for drivers of any age. You don’t have to be a senior driver to have this work for you, but basically any of us that are behind the wheel can always improve our skills” said Cook.

Washington State Patrol troopers say anything educational that will help drivers is a plus.

And this program addresses some key awareness issues that some drivers may need to be reminded of.

“Making sure that people expand their field of view is a good idea. People need to look five feet ahead of their cars when they’re driving and make sure that they’re looking out for any potential hazards” said Lt. Jay Cabezuela.

DriveSharp is also validated by the National Institute of Health to cut your crash risk in half and improve stopping distance by more than 20 feet. The program online is just a sample version, but AAA members can purchase the entire program for $99.