February 10, 2011

Car Crash for Dummies? Study finds driving game fans take more risks on the road.

PEOPLE who play driving games are more likely to crash in real-life, according to a new study.

It found that motorists who play games such as Need For Speed and Gran Turismo were 44 per cent more likely to take risks such as running a red light and were less successful at carrying out everyday manoeuvres.

Fatality Free Friday founder Russell White agreed that driving games gave motorists more “bravado”.

However, the road safety expert said driving games should not be confused with computer simulators which are driver education tools.

Queensland Transport is considering allowing learner drivers to include simulator hours in their logbook if Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety Queensland research this year shows it is effective.

“The difference between simulators and games is that simulators have an emphasis on road safety while games put the emphasis on speed and racing – totally different outcomes,” he said.

The British study of 2000 UK motorists, commissioned by tyre company Continental, found gamers were more likely to speed, suffered from road rage and were more likely to be stopped by police.

Continental Tyres spokesman Tim Bailey said that while computer games improved reaction times, those who played them were more prepared to take risks on the road.

“They believe that any problem can be solved by resetting their game,” he said.

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