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Old 02-01-2011, 09:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Study: Games Teach People How to Drive... Badly

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Flying around the virtual track so quickly that your whiplash gets whiplash may make you feel like a one-man Hollywood car chase, but, well, that might not be such a good thing. A recent study – which polled 1000 gamers and 1000 non-gamers – found that those who've wielded a gamepad in one hand may as well have been swinging a double-edged sword with the other.

In terms of risk-taking behaviors, gamers' penchant for throwing caution to the wind was very nearly terrifying. 31 percent of gamers said they'd run a red light in the past year compared to only 14 percent of non-gamers. Meanwhile, 45 percent of gamers said they'd given into driving's dark side and let road rage consume them, while goodie-goodie non-gamers clocked in at 22 percent. Across the board, gamers simply reported taking more risks: speeding, getting stopped by police, scaring passengers, using the phone while driving – you name it.

But that's not the end of the story. See, gamers also managed to pass driver's tests with fewer attempts and – here's the kicker – get into fewer fender-benders. So gamers aren't 40-car pile-ups waiting to happen. Rather, they're just in severe need of a reality check.

"It seems that while gamers develop useful skills and are more confident, they need to apply some balance with a sensible assessment of risk," said Tim Bailey of the study's conductor, Continental Tires.

So next time you're running down everything that moves and creating an infinite chain of paramedics attempting to resuscitate each other in Grand Theft Auto, take a moment to slow down and pay attention to the traffic lights. There now, doesn't abiding by the law feel great?

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