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Do video games affect teen driving?

You want your teen to be a good driver on the California roadways, and there are definitely ways you can encourage good habits and help him or her develop driving skills. According to Geico.com, some studies say that one way you can help your young driver avoid a traffic crash is to turn off the video games.

Aggressive driving behaviors such as speeding or tailgating are dangerous in real life, but in many simulator games, they are an important part of winning. If your teen puts away the controller and gets behind the wheel right away, it is more likely that those behaviors will carry over to real life. Not only that, drivers who play more than eight hours of racing games per day are at three times higher risk of being in a collision as those who play for under one hour.

Racing simulators are not the only virtual experiences that threaten to raise your teen's chances of bad behavior in the driver's seat. One study focused on the results of violent video games. Many of the teens who participated in the survey and said they played the games often also self-reported that they were guilty of foregoing seat belts, speeding and following too closely to other vehicles.

The news is not all bad. One study reported that gamers are more likely to be more aware of their surroundings and have faster and more accurate reflexes. Although many experts believe that limiting gaming time is a must, you may also want to consider the benefits of modeling good driving behaviors, ensuring that your child gets supervised practice in all weather conditions and turning off the games in advance of a trip. This information is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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