There has been a dispute for some time over just how bad video games are for us, and many studies on the subject. Now, it’s actually suggested that in the right amounts video games can be good for us. Games can potentially help us to improve things like memory and coordination, and even improve our ability to learn new things. But what about driving games? Could driving games actually help us to improve our driving technique?
Don’t take this the wrong way - you’re never going to learn to drive by playing video games alone. Practice in a real-life car is a must if you’re going to get on the road. However, there’s evidence to suggest that car racing games may develop driving skills, and other car related skills. The effects may be subtle at first, but they could potentially lead to noticeable changes in time. Below, we’ll talk more about how driving games can potentially help us to improve our driving techniques!
Racing Games Can Strengthen Mental Muscles
Science has confirmed that racing games can strengthen mental muscles. This is good news, as driving is a workout for your brain, not just your eyes. Your brain can better make sense of everything you see when you hop in a car after playing driving games, and you will likely find that you make better choices when behind the wheel.
Some people credit driving games with feeling able to stay calm and collected when having to make quick decisions while driving. Processing speed can greatly improve, with the gamer finding it easier to absorb information, process it, and then act on it.
Spatial attention can be improved when playing driving games. This is how you are able to focus on a particular set of objects and ignore other distractions around you. You will better notice changes in conditions as you drive, without letting the scenery distract you.
Driving also depends on the person in control of the vehicle being able to keep track of other vehicles, signs, and road obstacles. Tracking ability is often improved after playing driving games.
Hand-eye coordination can actually be improved by playing almost any game, and this is another skill we all rely on while we drive. We need our hands and sight to work in harmony in order to get to where we’re going safely, whether we’re accelerating, changing lanes, or switching gears.
Exposing players to lifelike situations, such as overtaking safely, without actually getting on the road can improve neural circuits without even having to get into a physical car. This is a reason many race car drivers now include racing and driving games in their training plans. If they do it, there’s no reason it wouldn’t help you!
2. Driving Games Can Teach You To Keep Your Defenses Up
Having regular sessions with a driving instructor is of course the best way to keep your defenses up on the roads, but playing driving games can also help you. There are many defensive driving techniques that you can pick up from a game, potentially helping you dodge fatal accidents. If you’re playing against other people especially, you’ll be forced to consider what their next move will be, and make sure you’re taking steps in advance to avoid a collision. Anticipating what other road users will do is a must for safe driving.
3. A Racing Game Can Potentially Teach You About Cars
Games these days are all about creating an immersive experience for the players, so it’s highly likely when you’re playing these games you’ll learn something about cars. There are ultra-realistic graphics and gameplay. You might even think twice about modifying your car when you see how expensive and difficult it can be from playing these games! If the game you are playing features cars from the real world, this may also allow you to build a mental database of pros and cons of different brands and models and learn a thing or two about what to look for in a quality car.
Other Ways To Improve Your Driving
It’s now glaringly obvious that if you want to become a better driver - better at making decisions, more focused, and more knowledgeable about certain vehicles, you should play driving games. However, we’d be wrong to tell you this is the only way to do it. Below, you’ll find other ways to improve your driving:
Take a defensive driving course - a defensive driving course can help you to save money on your insurance, and even take points off your driving record. A course like this will teach you how to always be prepared on the road and keep yourself from getting into an accident.
Hold the wheel properly - there’s a right way to hold the wheel and a wrong way. Here, you can check out how to hold it in a way that will keep you safe and healthy.
Adjust your mirrors - make sure you adjust your mirrors whenever you get into your car if you need to. You won’t always need to move them, but you should still carry out a few quick checks before you set off in order to stay safe.
Don’t drive when you’re lacking in sleep - one of the worst things you can do is get behind the wheel when you’re feeling tired. This slows your reaction times and worst case scenario, you could even drop off. You may also be more irritable, which could lead to road rage, and those with road rage find themselves getting into more accidents than those who can control their emotions. Many experts compare driving tired to driving drunk. Don’t do it!
Stick to the speed limit - be aware of the speed limit at all times and stick to it.
Don’t multitask - you shouldn’t be driving and eating, drinking, applying makeup, or doing anything other than focusing on the road. Keep your phone in the glovebox too, or have it ready set up as your sat nav so you don’t have to touch it.
Get rid of distractions - keep music at a reasonable level, and make sure kids know not to scream and shout while in the car.
Practice - practice always makes perfect when it comes to driving!