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Auto Trader's New Survey Reveals That Gamers Are Better Drivers

  • New research from Auto Trader reveals people who play video games tend to be better drivers.
  • The study found that those who play driving video games are less likely to have penalty points on their licence.
  • Gamers also have more confidence on the road, with 41% of gamers rating their own driving skills as ‘excellent’ - compared to just 13% of non-gamers.

With the ever-imminent release of GTA 6 on the horizon, the car leasing experts at Auto Trader have released stats from a new survey that compares the driving ability and success of motorists who play driving video games for at least four hours every week versus drivers who don’t game regularly.

According to Reddit users, playing video games regularly can result in several transferable skills such as better response and reaction time, hand-eye coordination, and problem solving - and Auto Trader’s new research suggests that virtual video game driving experiences does often translate to better real-world driving skills.

The study reveals that gamers’ overall confidence behind the wheel is much higher than non-gamers and that they are less likely to engage in risky behaviours on the road.

Are Gamers Better Drivers?

Drivers who play automotive video games certainly do think that they are better drivers; a staggering 41% of gamers rated their skills on the road as 'excellent', whereas only 13% of people who do not play driving video games think of themselves as being stellar drivers.

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But where does this ‘gamer confidence’ come from? Over half of the gamers surveyed (56%) believe their time behind the virtual wheel has positively impacted their real driving skills, claiming that playing driving and racing games has enhanced their reaction times and spatial awareness on the road.

That belief might be justified, considering gamers are less likely to have had any penalty points added to their driving licences compared to non-gamers.

Whereas only 15% of gamers have been penalised for their driving behaviour, more than one in four (28%) drivers who don’t play video games have admitted to receiving driving penalties for dangerous driving since getting their licence.

Have you ever had any penalty points added to your driving license? Gamer Non-Gamer 
Yes 15% 28% 
No 82% 71% 
Prefer not to say 3%  1%

Dangerous Behaviour on the Road (Gamers vs. Non-Gamers)

While gamers feel more confident on the road and seem to have a safer-driving track record, there are still significant areas of improvement. When Auto Trader asked drivers “Why do you have penalty points currently added onto your licence?” the survey revealed that gamers are significantly more likely to be penalised for using a mobile phone while driving, with one in four receiving penalty points on their driving licence due to committing this infraction (a stark departure from the 4% of non-gamers who were caught doing the same).

Even though most popular driving and racing video games focus on driving far past the speed limit, speeding is interestingly a risky behaviour that is more prevalent among those who don’t regularly game (or don’t game at all). With 85% of non-gamers admitting to getting points added to their licence due to their fast driving, as opposed to 71% of those who game getting caught speeding.

Erin Baker, Editorial Director at Auto Trader, commented: “Our survey shows some light correlation between regular car-based gaming and safer driving habits – adding real-life examples to the studies out there which show video games can boost the cognitive skills that improve your driving. All drivers should adhere to safety regulations while driving, whether they play video games often or not, and the new technology available when you lease new models can certainly help you avoid speeding penalization. Newer car models, which come equipped with advanced safety features, traffic updates, map routes and entertainment technologies, can also reduce the temptation to engage with mobile devices while driving.”

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