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Last Updated: Friday, 2 March 2007, 00:19 GMT
Games 'make drivers go faster'
PS3 controller in front of a screen showing a driving game
Driving a car is like a game for some young motorists
More than a third of young drivers are more likely to go faster on the roads after playing on-screen driving games, a survey suggests.

And 27% of motorists aged under 24 admitted more risk-taking on the road after a gaming session.

A thousand drivers were questioned on behalf of driving school BSM.

BSM's road safety consultant Robin Cummins said the results showed an 'indisputable' link between gaming and dangerous driving.

A quarter of drivers even said they imagine they are in a driving simulation game while driving for real - men are the worst offenders for this.

The poll also found that 34% of the 1,000 young drivers questioned think computer games can improve real-life driving ability, with two in five reckoning the games can help their reflexes.

The guy in front, the music on the stereo...those are the things that make you speed up
David Perry

The survey revealed that just over half of frequent game-players pass their driving test first time, compared with only 45% of those who only play games infrequently.

Mr Cummins said: "With more than 200 young people killed each year due to speeding alone, it's crucial that they learn to 'keep it real' on the road."

But the survey's findings have been rejected by the US-based games designer David Perry.

The multi-millionaire from Belfast, who is currently designing a driving video game, said behaviour was affected by how drivers felt while behind the wheel, not before they got in their car.

"Anything that affects your emotions will affect how you drive. The guy in front, the music on the stereo...those are the things that make you speed up, not a game you played an hour ago."

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