The following is excerpted from an online article posted by HealthDay.
A new video game technology that exposes drivers to the most common serious crash scenarios and sees how they react may help predict what type of driver a teen will be. It can also highlight any potential problems, a new study suggests.
“Not only is the virtual driving assessment a great resource for young drivers to get feedback on their driving going beyond just pass or fail results, but it can also be a helpful resource for parents to determine if their child is ready to drive safely [and] know what types of driving skills they should focus on when taking their teens out to practice,” said study author Elizabeth Walshe. She’s a research scientist and leader of the Neuroscience of Driving Program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Center for Injury Research and Prevention.
The new video technology is called Ready Assess by Diagnostic Driving, Inc.
The virtual driving assessment is a fully immersive 15-minute, self-guided simulated drive that measures a person’s ability to drive safely and avoid crashes. Drivers use a steering wheel, pedals and headphones while following the course on a computer screen. It measures more than 100 skills, including vehicle control, lane position, proximity to other vehicles, ability to negotiate curves and intersections, as well as responses to unexpected hazards.
At the end of the game, drivers receive a personalized report that identifies specific skill deficits and provides tips on how to improve driving skills.
For the study, published online in the journal Pediatrics, almost 17,000 Ohio drivers under 25 took the virtual driving assessment during the licensing process, and some clear patterns emerged.
Drivers who had “major issues with dangerous behavior” had a crash risk that was 11% higher than average in their first year with a license.
Those who got their license at age 18 were 16% more likely to crash based on their performance on the video game, the study showed. Drivers who performed well on the video game had a crash risk that was about 10% lower than the average risk, the study showed.