Can Playing a Video Racing Game Affect Your Driving Behavior?

Video racing games can be fun: you get to simulate driving behind the wheel of a super high-powered race car, one you’d never get a chance to drive in real life, and the higher-quality games with their realistic graphics can make you feel as if you really are hurtling down the track or on city streets at speeds in excess of 200 mph.

But can playing an intense video racing game have an effect on your real-life driving behavior? As Reuters reports, a recent study reported in the journal Injury Prevention has found that intense racing games can actually affect how you drive after you play the game.

The study, performed by researchers at Xi’an Jiaotong University in Xi’an, China, found that university students recruited for the study who had spent 20 minutes playing a video racing game were more likely to take risks when they were subsequently given the Vienna Risk-Taking Test, compared to students who had spent their 20 minutes playing a more sedate game of computer solitaire.

Other experts, however, caution against taking these results as indicating that intense video racing games cause more dangerous driving behavior. As one expert noted, it wasn’t clear that the risk-taking behaviors recorded by the study meant that participants would engage in such behaviors if they’d actually been behind the wheel. The study also failed to account for participants’ actual driving experience or if they even had driver’s licenses.

So there isn’t a clear relationship between video racing games and subsequent driving behavior. As always, though, it’s best to make sure you keep your attention on the road when you’re driving, regardless of what you’ve been doing beforehand.

After a car accident, an experienced attorney is one of the few people who will advocate for your best interests. Robert Greening is the principal attorney at Greening Law, P.C. He has dedicated his 24 years of practice to the litigation of wrongful death and serious injury cases. If you have any questions, contact Greening Law, P.C. at 972-934-8900.