Culminating Project Title
Date of Award
Culminating Project Type
Special Studies: M.S.
School of Education
George A. Farrach
Howard E. Matthias
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This study attempts to answer the basic question, "Does practice and instruction in simulated emergency situations lead to improvement in the driving performance of the treated subjects, as related to accident reduction?"
As a group of drivers, police officers receive little or no special preparation in driving skills. With preparation minimal, it would follow that polic officers who are confronted with emergency situations will often respond incorrectly and collisions will be the result. Training can, therefore, eliminate many accidents.
The study at St. Cloud State University was limited to comparisons between two groups of Minnesota Police Officders. The experimental group received three days of instruction which involved classroom and driving experience. Topics included in the curriculum were: vehicle dynamics, skids, serpentine, evasive action, controlled braking, specialized backing and pursuit driving. The control group, also composed of police officers, did not receive this trianing until after the study period. Comparisons were made by reviewing the accident records of both groups of polic officers. Accident records for a two-year period preceeding instruction as compared to the two years following instruction for the experimental group.
The major finds of the study were:
1. The experimental group experienced a 26.8 percent reduction in all accidents following treatment. This change was nearly significant at the .10 level of significance (.125).
2. The experimental group improved its business accident experience by 61.9 percent (24-9). This improvement was significant at the .10 level of significance. A business accident is defined as one occurring during working hours in a police vehicle.
3. The 17-25 year olds within the experimental group improved their total accident experience by 43.5 percent. This change was siginificant at the .10 level of significance.
4. The 17-25 year olds within the experimental group improved their private accident experience by 60 percent. This was significant at the .10 level of significance.
5. The control group experienced a 3.7 percent reduction in accidents. This change was not statistically significant.
6. Although reduction in accidents were noted in each of the other age groups, none was as pronounced as the 17-25 group.
The study indicated that emphasis on instruction and practice in simulated emergency situations, as provided by the program at St. Cloud State University, can make a significant impact on the accident experience of the treated subjects.
1. Further study to determine if the program has accident reduction potential for other populations.
2. Further study to determine the optimum program structure including: a. length of program b. use of classroom time c. use of film simulation
3. Further study to determine the long-term retention of the skill learned.
4. The program should be expanded for all policie officers and evaluation methods should be continued.
An ex post facto scientific study was conducted to appraise the impact of the St. Cloud State University's Police Emergency Driving Program. It was found that the program had a beneficial impact on the accident frequency of the treated subjects, and that specific groups within the experimental group experienced statistically significant improvement. The author believes programs of this type deserve serious consideration as an accident counter-measure, and that further scientific investigations be conducted that will improve the impact of this type of advanced driver education.
Palmer, John W., "Police Emergency Driving Instruction Program Evaluation" (1978). Culminating Projects in Teacher Development. 5.