The impact of video games on younger drivers
by Helen Jackson |
posted 29 March 2019
A study of 1,000 drivers has revealed concerns over the impact that video games might be having on younger drivers, with many feeling that such video games made bad driving look cool.
Half of all drivers, that is 47 per cent, that were interviewed by pre-17 driving experts Young Driver, believe that driving games on consoles and mobile devices are giving youngsters the wrong impression of driving, with one third (33 per cent) saying they also felt TV programmes and films had the same effect.
Teen expert Nicola Morgan, an award-winning author and international speaker, has been working with Young Driver to help them better understand teenage minds. She explains: “Teenage brains are still developing and that continues well into the twenties. The last area to develop is the prefrontal cortex, which is the brain’s ‘control centre’, necessary for tasks such as self-control, decision-making, risk analysis and saying no.
“So, at 17 years old, teens do not generally have a fully developed control centre to help them make good decisions and control their emotional urges, including risk-taking. If they have a risk-taking mindset, they may put thrill before safety; and even if they don’t mean to, they may be more driven by excitement than reason.”
When parents were asked if they believed that driving video games gave youngsters an opportunity to drive recklessly in a safe way, only one in 10 (11 per cent) agreed it was a good way of getting 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. 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.”
Research shows that those who have early driver tuition are half as likely to have an accident within the first six months after passing their test. Young Driver has given more than 600,000 driving lessons to 10-17-year olds, which take place on specially created road systems at private venues, with traffic lights, junctions and roundabouts to negotiate.