Video games blamed for dangerous driving | Motoring Issues - Car News Mar 2019

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15:36 Monday 01 Apr 2019

Video games are being blamed for giving youngsters the wrong impression of driving.

A study by driving organisation Young Driver has given rise to claims that video games, as well as film and TV, fail to show the consequences of driving dangerously.

Nearly half of drivers surveyed blamed driving games on consoles and mobile devices for the problem, with almost a third saying films such as the Fast and the Furious also negatively influenced teens’ attitudes towards driving.  The opinion was expressed more strongly by respondents in the 18-24 age group, with 58% saying that motoring on screens contributed to teens thinking driving was much easier than it really is.

As part of the survey, Young Driver found that parents overwhelmingly felt that driving portrayed on video games was unrealistic, but that just over one-in-ten felt they were a chance for youngsters to drive recklessly in a safe way in order to ‘get it out of their system’.

Sue Waterfield, head of marketing at Young Driver, commented, “It’s concerning if new drivers are being influenced by what they see on screens to believe reckless driving is cool and without consequence, given their brains may not see risk in the same way an older driver would.  That’s why it’s so important that young people are taught from an early age what a responsibility driving is, and how to do it safely.”

Motoring expert Quentin Willson added: “We don't know the effects that games like GTA and Need for Speed have on teen attitudes to road safety simply because the research hasn’t been done yet, but at Young Driver we see every day that if you catch pre-teen kids who haven’t yet been corroded by the glorification of bad driving in films, on TV and through gaming, they’re much more receptive to road safety messages.”

Young Driver is the UK’s largest provider of pre-17 driving tuition, and has given more than 600,000 driving lessons to 10-17 year olds on specially created road systems at private venues since the scheme was launched.


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