Computer gamers a bigger risk on roads

Computer geeks who play driving games are more likely to crash on a real-life road, a study says. Photo / Thinkstock
Computer geeks who play driving games are more likely to crash on a real-life road, a study says. Photo / Thinkstock

Computer geeks who play driving games are more likely to crash on a real-life road, a study says.

It found that motorists who play games such as Need for Speed and Gran Turismo are also 44 per cent more likely to take risks on the roads such as running a red light, and are less successful at carrying out everyday manoeuvres.

Continental Tyres commissioned the study of 2000 British motorists.

Safety experts agreed that driving games gave motorists more bravado.

But they said driving games should not be confused with computer simulators which are driver education tools that teach motorists to be aware of dangers on the roads.

The British study found computer gamers were more likely to speed, suffer from road rage, be stopped by police and make insurance claims.

They are also considered over-confident by non-gamers and a potential risk because they might repeat their virtual driving approach in the real world.

Continental Tyres spokesman Tim Bailey says computer games require good concentration levels and improved reaction times.

"However, they can take more risks than non-gaming drivers, possibly due to the lack of real consequence in games," he said.

"They believe that any problem can be solved by resetting their game."

They seem to be worse parkers, too, having hit more stationary objects and are twice as likely to scare others with their driving antics.

It also emerged that the longer they spend on games such as Grand Theft Auto and Formula 1 each week, the worse they are behind the wheel.

Research revealed that 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 an hour.

But on average, non-gamers take one more attempt to pass their driver's test and have caused twice as many prangs to their vehicle in the last year.

22 per cent of gamers stopped by police (non-gamers 13pc)
30 per cent have made an accident claim (15pc)
31 per cent have run a red light in past 12 months (14pc)
44 per cent take risks, accelerate too quickly, and overtake (21pc)
45 per cent Suffer road rage (22pc)

- NZ Herald

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