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Study – Those who play racing games are more dangerous drivers in real life

Tuesday, 1st February 2011 15:46 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

A study conducted by Continental Tires has found that those who play racing games are much more dangerous behind the wheel, than those who abstain from racing games.

Continental Tires asked 2,000 drivers between the ages of 17 and 39 questions regarding their driving habits, whether they played racing games, and how often they felt road rage.

Compared with drivers who don’t play games like Need for Speed or Gran Turismo, gamers who love to race around virtually tend to get pulled over by traffic police, get into more accidents, take more risks than usual, and suffer more road rage.

The report didn’t state how many females participated in the study.

“It seems that while gamers develop useful skills and are more confident, they need to apply some balance with a sensible assessment of risk,” said Continental’s Tim Bailey.

“I am not surprised that regular gamers find themselves making the same decisions and judgments when driving for real as they do when in the virtual world,” added Peter Rodger from the Institute of Advanced Motorists. “The issue is that when actually driving, our actions lead to ‘real’ results, and mistakes have very real consequences.”

In other words, slow down. You’re only Mario Andretti in your living rooms, not when driving your economy car to the shops.

Via Jalopnik, BigDownload.

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13 Comments

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  1. BULArmy

    For once I must say that that kind of study is right. Some of my friends and I play racing games a lot and I must say we really like to drive faster than the allowed speed or drift. My friends which do not game or don’t play racing games keep much more driving discipline. I had my first light crash becuase I didn’t kept distance with the car infront of me and set off like in a racing game,

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Shubb9

    I learnt to to drive playing Wipeout and I’m an awesome driver. That’s what enormous insurance premiums mean, right?

    #2 3 years ago
  3. On2wheels

    I disagree. I use games to de-stress from the real world, when I get behind the wheel I’m calmer and more attentive than if I had’nt played a racing game.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. SlayerGT

    It goes many ways I think. You have to figure those even interested in cars, racing, and goin fast are really the only ones playing racing games. But on the other hand myself personally have learned alot from games as early as Rally Cross on PS1 about physics and the way cars react to situations in the real world. I have a great deal of respect for cars and my motorcycle for what they are capable of and like to think I’m a safe driver. In my 9 years of driving I’v never gotten into a wreck or been ticketed.These studies bother me for the simple fact that it’s the people not the games. I’m not saying people that are attacted to COD are already violent, but you have to figure a violent person would be.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. SlayerGT

    And p.s. I play games because there are no real world consequences. But if they ever ban my GTA..there will be ;)

    #5 3 years ago
  6. sonny

    @4: That’s exactly the point. Of course, someone who drives like a maniac in real life in most cases also plays racing games. Just like a gun fanatic would play shooters. But I don’t think that games are the root of those people’s misbehaviour (with few exceptions maybe). I think blaming the games without taking a closer look is just taking the easy way out..

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Callum

    Indeed, it should read the other way around:

    Study: Those who drive like idiots are more likely to enjoy racing games.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Henderson101

    I completely agree with SlayerHD. Though there are always exceptions to the rule, I would bet money on the correlation (usually) being the other way around:

    People who like to drive fast would probably be more likely to enjoy a virtual world where they can do so without the restrictions of “real life” and the laws associated. Same goes for violent people vs violent games.

    Of course, the big issue with points like this is that it wouldn’t allow for he great controversy which the media thrives on so much!

    #8 3 years ago
  9. SlayerGT

    @6 Yes and it’s gettin old.

    @7 Exactly.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. SlayerGT

    @8 SlayerGT sir. GT. I love Gran Turismo ;D

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Keivz

    They should also do the study looking at those who watch Top Gear. I got my first speeding ticket a week after I started watching that show.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. hitnrun

    This is another case of “correlation is not causation.”

    People who play racing games tend to be younger people with a great appreciation for driving fast and fast cars. All categories that tend toward automobile accidents, not necessarily playing the games themselves.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. bpcgos

    I’m always been the first who hit the gas than the people around me after the red traffic light goes off, I think it’s caused by too much playing. But when on the road I’ve always stays calm and thinking about what i have to do next and drive carefully by taking the corner from the outer side to the inner side of the road (just like in Gran Tourismo), thanks god, it works very well and never cause my ride to slip even on a rather high speed!

    #13 3 years ago