Gamers likely to pass driving test first time, and then crash

Need For Speed: Shift video game
30 Mar, 2014 9:00am Alex Yau

Playing driving games could help you pass your driving test but also increases your chance of having an accident in year one

Gamers might find it easier to pass their driving tests the first time, but new research suggests they’re also more likely to be involved in an accident in the first year of driving.

Privilege car insurance surveyed 1,419 drivers aged between 18 – 50 and found that 73 per cent of those who regularly played driving games passed their driving tests on the first go. That’s 15 per cent higher than the average for all drivers, but 77 per cent of these gamers admitted to having an accident within one year of passing.

Charlotte Fielding, Privilege’s head of car insurance, said: “Our research shows that simulated driving experiences gives learners increased confidence on the road. However, the figure for new driver accidents for gamers is worryingly high, suggesting over-confidence can lead to mistakes. Managing a car and being a responsible driver is not a game and accidents in the real world can have serious consequences."

Driving games breed confidence in learners

Popular driving games on consoles like the Playstation and Xbox include Gran Turismo, Need for Speed, Grand Theft Auto and Forza Motorport. Around 17 per cent of those aged 18 – 24 said they drew plenty of pre-test confidence from playing video games like these.

Female drivers drew more confidence through proper preparation and 62 per cent said they felt more positive about passing this way, whilst 53 per cent of men felt that doing their homework built confidence. 

The research was conducted to examine current learner driver attitudes and behaviour and found that 52 per cent of men overall were likely to pass their driving tests on the first attempt compared to 42 per cent of women.

Around 25 per cent of women took three or more attempts to pass, but more men (24 per cent) than women (18 per cent) reported an accident in their first year.

Do you think video games provide adequate preparation for a driving test? Can playing a game really help you pass in the real world? Let us know in the comments below… And don't forget to check out our list of the best driving games for 2014.