Grand Theft Accident for new drivers

LEARNER drivers who play games such as Grand Theft Auto are more likely to pass their driving test first time round – but also to have an accident in the first year, research shows.
Picture: APPicture: AP
Picture: AP

A total of 77 per cent of gamers had an accident within 12 months of losing their L plates, compared to 27 per cent of all drivers.

The first-time pass rate of learners who played driving video games was 73 per cent – 15 points higher than the average 58 per cent for all drivers

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UK driving tests now include a hazard perception test which is similar to a computer game.

Picture: RockstarPicture: Rockstar
Picture: Rockstar

Prowess on the “digital road” was cited for their pre-test confidence by nearly one in five of 18-24 year olds.

But Charlotte Fielding, of Privilege Insurance, which commissioned the study, said “driving” experience acquired through gaming could give a false sense of security about actual ability.

She said: “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.”

Neil Greig, of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, said there was no substitute for practical experience on the roads.