Crash course in driving for computer game players

People who play computer games are more likely to pass their driving test first time but are also the most likely to crash within 12 months of gaining a full driver's licence.

Research shows that 73% of computer gamers pass their driving test first time compared to 58% of the total of test applicants. However, the same study by insurance company Privilege also showed that 77% of gamers had a car accident within the first year of driving when only 27% of the total number of new drivers experienced the same problem.

Gamers believe their computer experience helps them with driving in the real world, instilling confidence and more spatial awareness. Men are five times more likely to use computer driving games than women. Female drivers prefer to carry out lots of preparation and practice in the real world to help them feel positive about passing the test.

Charlotte Fielding, of Privilege, said: 'Our research shows that simulated driving experience 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.'

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