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Gamers more likely to pass their test and crash

Those who play video games are likely to pass first time and then crash within the first 12 months, according to a recent study.

A misspent youth spent playing Gran Turismo and Forza V comes in handy when it comes to your real driving career, it would seem. A survey of 1,994 people by Privilege car insurance discovered 73 per cent of gamers passed their test first time, compared with the 58 per cent average.

17 per cent of participants between the age of 18 and 24 said their ‘pre-test confidence’ was born out of their ability on the “digital road”. One in ten men said driving games experience helped, compared with just two per cent of women.

The data revealed men were more likely to pass their test first time, with a score of 52 per cent. 42 per cent of the fairer sex passed first time, with a quarter of women needing three or more tests to secure their driving licence.

Women were said to get their confidence from preparation and not lapping it up around a virtual Nurburgring. 62 per cent said they felt positive about passing because of practice, compared with 52 per cent of men.

Video games have a drawback when it comes to driving. 77 per cent of those surveyed crashed within the first 12 months. In fact, 24 per cent of all males drivers reported having a crash in the first year, compared with 18 per cent of women.

“Our research shows that simulated driving experience gives learners increased confidence on the road,” Privilege head of car insurance Charlotte Fielding commented.

“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,” Fielding added.

A number of surveys have looked at whether gaming has an effect on our ability behind the wheel. One study from the American Psychological Association found ‘risk glorifying’ video games made teenagers more reckless.

The sample of people is relatively low in the case of both studies, which means we can perhaps apply a pinch of salt to the findings. Ultimately if a young person (who should not be playing an 18-rated game, anyway) is affected by entertainment to the point where their virtual actions spill over into real life, video games and films are merely a symptom of an underlying problem.

Did video games help you pass? Let us know.

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