Gamers Drive Worse Than Non-Gamers

A recent study shows that better hand-eye coordination does not necessarily make for better drivers.

In a recent study performed by Continental Tyres, it was found that gamers who regularly play racing games are actually worse drivers than non-gamers. The study gauged 2,000 motorists between the ages of 17 and 39, half of whom are gamers.

The gamers considered themselves to be the better drivers, scoring themselves an average of a 6/10, where non-drivers rated themselves a 5/10. Gamers also believed that, due to their hobby, they had better reaction time and coordination.

What the results showed were quite contradictory to the assumptions. Due to their confidence, gamers admit to more insurance claims and run red lights. They're also more likely to drive aggressively.

Tim Bailey of Continental Tyres explains:
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.

It seems that having the experience digitally doesn't always make up for a lack of real-world application, so maybe we can all keep that in mind after we're done with our next session of Need For Speed or Gran Turismo 5.

via Edge