Players of Video Driving Games more likely to take risks on the road!

A most often discussed topic amongst the younger generation is the excessive cost of insurance for young drivers. We often refer to the reasons for higher numbers of accident claims by younger vehicle owners. Contributing factors include limited driving experience, speeding, drunk driving etc

Did you know that video driving games could contribute to accident and insurance claim risks?

I was alerted to a rather interesting study on this relationship by members of an international road safety group on the Linkedin platform. A new study has found that people who play driving games are more likely to crash in real-life.

Continental Tyres and the Study:

The study amongst 2,000 motorists consisted of 1,000 gamers and non-gamers aged between 17 and 39 and quizzed them on their driving habits and attitudes.

The following were some of the most interesting findings from the study conducted by Tyre Manufacturer Continental:

  • Researchers found motorists who play on driving games are more likely to crash, run a red light and are less successful at carrying out every day manoeuvres.
  • They are more likely to attempt risky manoeuvres, suffer from road rage and be stopped by the police.
  • They are considered ‘over-confident’ by non-gamers and a potential risk because they might repeat their virtual driving approach in the real world.

Continental responds to findings

Tim Bailey, safety expert for Continental Tyres which carried out the study shared some comments on these findings:

  • “This is an interesting piece of research. It seems that while gamers develop useful skills and are more confident, they need to apply some balance with a sensible assessment of risk.
  • “Playing computer driving games means good concentration levels and improved reaction times, however, they can take more risks than non-gaming drivers, possibly due to the lack of real consequences in games.
  • “The most important issues for driving safely are concentration, an appreciation of road and vehicle conditions and an awareness of potential risks. Clearly driving games can develop these skills but that has to be balanced – driving on public roads is never a race.”

What do video gamers think / perceive about their driving?

  • While gamers think they are better behind the wheel, in reality they are far from it. They rated their driving skill at an average of six out of ten compared to non-gamers’ five.
  • Gamers also claimed to have quicker reaction times, better anticipation of events and greater understanding of the car’s dynamics – such as gear changes and cornering.
  • When quizzed further, they tend to speed more often, claim on their insurance more regularly and believe that any problem can be solved by resetting their game.

Video Games v Reality about Safe Driving

What can we expect when these gamers go on the road – and what do safe driving experts say about their driving?

  • Peter Rodger, Institute of Advanced Motorists chief examiner, said: “I am not surprised that regular gamers find themselves making the same decisions and judgements when driving for real as they do when in the virtual world. The issue is that when actually driving, our actions lead to ‘real’ results, and mistakes have very real consequences.”
  • Gamers also appear worse parkers having crashed into more stationary objects and are twice as likely to scare others with their antics on the road.

It also emerged that the longer they spend on games each week , the worse they are behind the wheel. Those who play for more than eight hours a week have been in three times as many accidents as someone who plays for less than one hour.

Fast Facts about those who play video driving games and those who don’t

[Info from Continental Study]

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